U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting Oman today to thank the Gulf state’s ruler for his role in securing the release of three American hikers jailed by Iran, and to discuss efforts to meet demands for greater economic and political freedoms in the sultanate.
Two U.S. nationals held in Iran on charges of espionage and illegal entry were released from prison and arrived in Oman, where they were met by family members who had worked for their release for more than two years.
Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal emerged from 781 days in a 104-square-foot Iranian prison cell leaner, fitter and with Hollywood actor Sean Penn and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez among those to thank for their release.
The release of two U.S. nationals detained by Iran on espionage charges was delayed by the judiciary in a blow to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had announced their release before his trip to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Sarah Shourd spent the night in Oman after Iran freed the American from detention on spying charges, while keeping her two companions jailed, in a case that highlights friction within the Iranian establishment and between the U.S. and Iran.