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American hikers' trial in Iran could start next month

By The CNN Wire Staff
Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, along with recently released Sarah Shourd, were arrested in Iran in July 2009.
Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, along with recently released Sarah Shourd, were arrested in Iran in July 2009.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Mother of imprisoned hiker says she has no plans to attend
  • The United States says Iran has no basis to put the men on trial
  • The country is holding them on suspicions of spying
  • Iran released a third hiker on humanitarian grounds in September
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(CNN) -- The trial for two American hikers in jail in Iran on suspicions of spying could begin in early November, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the mother of one of the hikers said Tuesday.

"We are aware that their lawyer has reported this date," Clinton told reporters in response to a question on whether the hikers' trial would begin on November 6.

Hikers Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were arrested after straying across the unmarked border separating Iran from Iraq's Kurdistan region in July 2009. Shourd was released on humanitarian grounds in September, but Bauer and Fattal remain in Tehran's Evin Prison on accusations of spying.

November 6 is the same date a lawyer gave to Cindy Hickey, Bauer's mother. Hickey was told by her son's attorney in Iran about the trial date some three weeks ago, she told CNN.

Hickey said that she hasn't spoken to her son since May and currently has no plans to attend the trial.

"We hope things move forward. Of course we know Shane and Josh are innocent and hope they are released before the trial," she said.

The United States, which has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 1979, has relied on Switzerland to appeal directly for the hikers' release.

"We continue to express our hope that the Iranian authorities will exercise the humanitarian option of releasing these two young men. We do not believe there is any basis whatsoever for them to be put on trial," said Clinton.

CNN's Karan Olson contributed to this report.