Ahmadinejad on MoJo Contributor Shane Bauer

| Tue Dec. 22, 2009 9:13 AM PST

In an interview with ABC New's Diane Sawyer that aired Monday night, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad walked back his promise to help three American hikers—including Mother Jones contributor Shane Bauer—detained in Iran.

Bauer and his companions, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd, accidentally wandered into Iran while hiking in Northern Iraq on July 31, their traveling companion, Shon Meckfessel, explained in a statement in early August. But in the interview with Sawyer, Ahmadinejad suggested that he didn't believe that story. "How do you know they have accidentally crossed into Iran? How do you know they were looking for waterfalls and forests?" Ahmadinejad asked Sawyer in response to her questions about the hikers. He also refused to say he would release the three Americans. You can watch the full interview here.

Bauer and his companions have been charged with espionage and face trial. Want to learn more? Their families have a website where you can follow the story and help out.

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