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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Shourd’

Ann Curry’s Interview with Ahmadinejad Makes News on American Hikers

Ann Curry‘s 45-minute sit-down with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today included a question about how the country could have sentenced two American hikers, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, to such a harsh sentence — 8 years — for straying into Iran in 2009. But she wasn’t expecting his answer, which made headlines about an hour before the “Today” show went on the air.

Ahmadinejad: They illegally crossed our borders, and they were arrested by the border guards, but we tried last year to free one of the three persons, and we are also trying to make arrangements for their freedom, for the freedom of the other two. I think these two persons will be freed in a couple of days.

Curry: In a couple of days?

Ahmadinejad: Yes. In a couple of days, they will be free.

“Good Morning America” also reported the news in the show open. ABC’s Jim Sciutto reported from Washington, DC: “ABC News confirming the president has said the hikers will be released in two days.” ABC spoke with their lawyer as well as Sarah Shourd, Bauer’s fiancee. who was released last year. On CBS, correspondent Mark Philips reported the story from London for the “Early Show.” Neither ABC nor CBS mentioned the news was made during an NBC interview.

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Mitchell on Ahmadinejad Interview: ‘One of the most complicated challenges I’ve faced’

Mitchell_9.17.bmpNBC News chief foreign correspondent Andrea Mitchell has experienced a lot in her 16 years on the beat. But she calls this week’s interview with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “one of the most complicated challenges I’ve faced.”

“I think largely because of all the competing internal divisions within their government, nothing was easy, before or after the interview,” Mitchell tells TVNewser. “The timing kept changing, apparently as they were negotiating amongst themselves about Sarah Shourd‘s release.”

Mitchell has been in Iran all week and was the first to report the news Tuesday that Shourd, an American hiker had been freed from 14 months in captivity.

Then came Wednesday’s interview with Ahmadinejad.

“I wanted very much to test Ahmadinejad’s attitudes on the nuclear stalemate before he came to New York for the UN meetings next week,” Mitchell says. Ahmadinejad told Mitchell the threat of more U.S. sanctions doesn’t bother him in the least: “Our nation does not need the United States whatsoever,” he told her.

As for the interview, Mitchell tells TVNewser the one competitive benefit is the multitude of outlets on which to report the news.

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