Iraq working for release of Americans held in Iran

AP News
Posted: Nov 21, 2009 9:03 AM

An Iraqi official says Baghdad has contacted Tehran in a bid to secure the release of three Americans detained in Iran, but has received no reply.

Foreign undersecretary Labid Abawi said Saturday that Iraq has sent messages and made "several efforts" to ensure the release of the Americans.

He said Tehran has not responded and there were no plans to hand them over to Iraq at the current time.

The Americans were detained by Iranian authorities after having crossed an unmarked border into Iran while hiking in northern Iraq in July.

The U.S. says the three were innocent tourists on an adventure hike and accidentally crossed into Iran.

Tehran says the Americans crossed the border illegally and has accused them of espionage.

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