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Iran judiciary denies U.S. men's release is imminent

Sep 14, 2011, 1:27 a.m.
American hikers Shane Bauer (L) and Josh Fattal attend the first session of their trial at the revolutionary court in Tehran February 6, 2011. REUTERS/PRESS TV

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Two U.S. nationals arrested while hiking in Iran and convicted of spying will not be released imminently, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had announced, a judiciary official said on Wednesday.

"The two Americans are going to stay in prison for a bit longer. Reports of their imminent release are wrong," Iran's English-language Press TV quoted a judiciary official as saying.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were sentenced in Iran last month to eight years in prison. Ahmadinejad told U.S. media that they would be freed "in a couple of days," in what he called a humanitarian gesture shortly before he travels to the United Nations in New York.

(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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