Ahmadinejad on MoJo Contributor Shane Bauer

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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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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