Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CAIR To Meet With Ahmadinejad To Urge Release Of Hikers



Representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), along with other national Muslim leaders, will meet tomorrow with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to seek the release of three American hikers who were detained after apparently straying across Iran's border.

Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd were detained in July while hiking in northern Iraq's Kurdistan region. The case has added to tensions between Iran and the United States.

CAIR will deliver a letter to Ahmadinejad from the families of the detained Americans. The organization had previously sent its own letter to Ahmadinejad requesting the release of the hikers. They will meet in New York where Ahmadinejad has traveled to attend the opening session of the UN General Assembly.

CAIR will also deliver a letter from the family of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who has been missing in Iran since 2007. That letter was given to CAIR in April when representatives of the group planned to travel to Iran to seek the release of journalist Roxana Saberi.

“We hope that President Ahmadinejad will take this opportunity for a humanitarian gesture to create a more positive atmosphere for constructive dialogue between our two nations by releasing the American detainees,” said CAIR National Board Chair Larry Shaw.

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