Tehran's chief prosecutor confirmed to the London Times that two American men arrested more than two years ago while hiking along the Iraq-Iran border have been sentenced to 8 years in prison on charges that include espionage.
Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi is quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency on Sunday as saying that Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have 20 days to appeal the decision. Iranian state TV has reported that the two were sentenced to three years for illegal entry into Iran and five years for spying for the United States. They deny the charges, saying they were only hiking near the ill-defined border.
Bauer, Fattal and a third American, Sarah Shourd, were detained in July 2009. Shourd was released in September on $500,000 bail and returned to the U.S.