Iran: About that 'imminent' release of the American hostages...

Yesterday, we reported that Iran's President Ahamdinejad was going to "pardon" the two American hikers being held hostage by his government and that they would be released in a couple of days - after paying a $500,000 ransom they are calling "bail."

Not so fast says the Iranian "Justice" Ministry:

The release of two American hikers held in the Islamic Republic for two years -- which seemed imminent on Tuesday - has been cast into doubt just 24 hours later.

Iran's Justice Ministry has denied, via the nation's state television network, that the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal is imminent, directly contradicting remarks on Tuesday by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who told two American media outlets the men could be freed this week.

"The two Americans are going to stay in prison for a bit longer. Reports of their imminent release are wrong,'' a judiciary official said, according to Iran's state-run Press TV.

Ahmadinejad is embroiled in a power struggle with the ruling clerics who have the ultimate say on all matters in Iran, and the American hikers have become pawns in that fight - adding intense loops to the emotional roller coaster their families have been riding since their arrest in 2009.

I have absolutely no doubt that when most of the Iranian leadership were little boys, they delighted in pulling the wings off of flies. Meanwhile, Americans are rotting in an Iranian jail and there's not a thing we can do about it.

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