This week, Americans Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, and Sarah Shourd are scheduled to be tried in Iran on charges related to spying. In July of 2009 the three were hiking in Kurdistan and crossed the border into Iran. They were captured and incarcerated.
On September 10, 2010, Sarah Shroud was released on $500,000 bail. Shane Bauer and Joshua Fatal remain in the Evin prison in Tehran. Despite Shroud’s absence, the trial is expected to commence this week.
Iranian judge Abolghasem Salavati will preside over the trial. Of concern to the families of Bauer and Fattal is the Judge’s history of doling out brutal sentences. The judge recently issued death sentences to defendants who were convicted of protesting after the 2009 Iranian presidential elections.
After over a year of silence and inaction on the part of Iran, critics speculate that the scheduling of the trial date is connected to the recent announcement that the Security Council plans to meet regarding the progress of Iran’s nuclear program.
Should the Security Council bear in mind that this meeting may affect the future of Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer? Should the United States encourage the Security Council to refrain from imposing additional sanctions in order to protect the two individuals?