President Obama, Secretary Clinton Welcome Release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 21, 2011
American Hikers Are Shown in Tehran

President Barack Obama released a statement on the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal from detention in Iran. President Obama said:

"I welcome the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal from detention in Iran and am very pleased that they are being reunited with their loved ones. The tireless advocacy of their families over these two years has won my admiration, and is now coming to an end with Josh and Shane back in their arms. All Americans join their families and friends in celebrating their long-awaited return home.

"We are deeply grateful to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the Swiss government, and to all our partners and allies around the world who have worked steadfastly over the past two years to secure the release of Shane and Josh."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton echoed President Obama's statement. She said, "I join President Obama in welcoming the decision made by Iranian authorities to release Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal from detention. After more than two years, they will finally be reunited with their friends and families.

"I am grateful for the efforts of all those who have worked for their release, in particular the Swiss Protecting Power in Tehran, the Omani government, the Iraqi government, and the many other world leaders who have raised their voices in support, as well as those inside Iran who pushed for justice."

You can find a transcript of the President's statement here and the Secretary's statement here.

Comments

Comments

Zharkov
|
United States
September 21, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

People entering a country without a Visa doesn't automatically make them spies or terrorists. It makes them deportable.

It shouldn't take 2 years of begging and pleading from families and Arab leaders to get Iran's government to do the right thing.

Any decent government should have put them on an airline and out of the country within 72 hours.

The prison time they've spent in Iran is a nasty lesson to tourists about Persian hospitality.

It's time for Iran's government to ask themselves how much better and faster they could have handled this matter. If they have a problem with how Western governments treat Iranian tourists, then they should take that up with those governments.

John
|
Canada
September 22, 2011

John in Canada writes:

@ Zarkov - Welcome to our ridiculous world - my own views on Monarchy could give me a long jail term or worse in some countries that are considered "friends". Thailand, Saudi Arabia perhaps even England (who knows what silly archaic laws still exist. In 2011 a catholic cannot become PM of England for goodness sake or wed into the royal family) Does Britain practice religious freedoms?

Heck, my view on religious practice - I would be a heretic - for one I don’t hold the belief that a monarch has been ordained by God (sorry QE2). I don’t believe that the pope is beyond reproach and cannot be questioned (guess I'm excommunicated). I don’t believe that Jews should be held accountable for the death of Christ. I don’t believe Israel can be restored at the end of the gun or by force - even with the help of America (I am not anti Semitic). I don’t believe suicide bombers will be greeted with milk, honey and virgins (just weird). If Christ rises again or the mystical Imam of the shia -- I wonder how the deaf and dumb followers would ever notice (probably would kill them - perhaps they are one in the same - that would be really confusing).

Back to monarchies - no use today - there function does no service any longer except to them (debatable) -I don’t believe monarchs should be beyond the laws of any land, but they are.

I believe strongly in freedom but see NO country that is actually free.

I believe in justice but have NO faith in law courts (even less in a lawyer - they believe who pays them the most). And no I am not an anarchist.

When president Obama recites his faith in the rule of law I can't help but think of slavery, segregation, genocide committed against populations of Jews, Muslims Christians, the plights of women and the threat against thinking and speaking freely - all made possible by the "Rule of Law"

There is something very strange having the first Black President of the USA cite the virtues of the rule of law - America owes its birth as a nation to law breakers, Obamas own presidency has been bought and paid with the lives of those who broke laws at the time - many, many years ago.(somehow I don't think a slave could become commander and chief)

Touting the rule of law reduces these struggles and enshrines the very chains that made these atrocities possible. The rule of law is still used today as a tool of repression; not for justice. Never mind the folks that broke prohibition laws, they owe their wealth to it. Who said crime doesn't pay - It has brought freedoms to many and paid the way for President Obamas presidency. The secretary of state I doubt would be where she is if laws towards women were not broken (still have a way to go ).

I believe in capitalism but see no true capitalist or states that practice true capitalism (sorry America you have successful people but any true capitalist would never allow debt and poverty the way America has allowed it- -it's suicidal to capitalism as you are all learning right now)

America rather oddly resembles a constitutional monarchy (in a vague sense) that practices a subtle form of serfdom while the people believe in something that is not really there- perhaps that’s why Americans remember the civil war and its divisiveness far more than independence. True freedom and independence still eludes you. But Americans have hope and that’s more than most (but not much more.)

I suppose a lot of countries still haven’t figured out how to let go of the dark ages (some worse than others) and embrace a future better for all (perhaps this lays in the hope some Americans speak about and others are dying quite literally for right now around the world)

Now while I value the knowledge and wisdom of the old; I am not so sure the designs for our future should be coming from the geriatric crowd. (Sorry Soros, Murdoch, Buffet, Panetta, Biden……..) They won't be alive to live the future they create and shape (no wonder things are so screwed up)

I wonder who the first women prez will be?

How's that for a rant that causes hackles to rise all over, break laws somewhere and generally piss off people, - from patriots, religious folks, governments, business, monarchists …..lawyers (chuckle) on and on…

Is it truly surprising what nonsense Iran and others do? More surprising is why it is still done at all.

Welcome home guys and enjoy a better freedom than you experienced in Iran. I bet you feel more hopeful right now than you did last year about your futures. I bet it feels like winning the lottery.

Got to go - I think I hear crowds with pitchforks at my door- if my heads still on my neck next week - Ill catch you then - till then sit back and watch the crazy circus we call life. (Laugh)

Zharkov
|
United States
September 22, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

@ John in Canada, you've made quite a few valid points. Over 170 million people have died at the hands of various governments in the 20th century, all according to law. In that respect, anarchy could have been an improvement.

Our constitution may be old but it was very effective in building a strong, free, and prosperous nation. Nothing written since then offers the genius of that brilliant document.

This government would not have even half the problems they now face had they obeyed the limitations of their power set forth over 200 years ago.

This and prior governments violated in nearly every manner possible our constitution which they swore to protect and defend. If they were honest, they should have refused to recite their oaths of office.

This and previous governments disregarded American interests in order to rescue foreign banks and governments, created regulations forcing American factories and jobs overseas, they've released swarms of tax collectors upon the public for further impoverishment of the barely employed, they search and seize money and property without a court order, they spy on innocent citizens, they impose double jeopardy in multiple trials and administrative hearings for the same offense, and so on - too much to list, really.

Our Declaration of Independence lists the reasons why we severed ties with the Crown and are strikingly modern complaints regarding our current government. The Declaration of Independence is an extremely important document. One can go right down the list of complaints about the Crown in the Declaration of Independence and say, "yes, that's what we've got now".

As for Iran, its mullahs are building a reputation of violating treaties against executing children, of cruelty to women and children, of intolerance of other religions, and generally nasty behavior.

After the US failure to prosecute elected officials for war crimes at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, Clinton's human rights lectures tend to fall on deaf ears.

Still, Iran's government should ask itself, what laws has it abolished lately to make Iranians more free, more prosperous, and more happy. My guess is, none at all. And I could say the same for our own government as well.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 23, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

The thing about anarchy is when the king no longer wants to be king, everyone wants to be king; and that could be said as well on some level for emerging democracies in their infancy.

I'm glad these guys made it out, and I'm sure they'll have a story to tell about the hospitality of Mullas and the cosy, homey atmosphere of Evin prison.

I think we ought to continue to shake the tree and see what others may be released.

EJ

.

Latest Stories

January 21, 2009

Europe Cheers President Obama

About the Author: Renee Earle serves as Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.… more
January 20, 2009

Un Moment Historique

About the Author: Adnan Siddiqi serves as Information Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Throughout this weekend and heading… more

Pages