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Swiss officials to see US detainees in Iran

Swiss consular officials are to have access to three Americans detained in Iran two months ago, the US State Department said on Tuesday.

This content was published on September 29, 2009 - 20:13

Switzerland represents US interests in Iran, since Washington has not had formal diplomatic relations with the country for nearly 30 years.

The three were detained when they crossed into Iran via the partially unmarked border from Iraqi Kurdistan on July 31. Since their arrest, their families have had no contact with them.

A State Department spokesman told the AFP news agency that as far as he knew the meeting had not yet taken place.

He also said it was not clear whether the decision indicated that the detainees would soon be allowed to contact their families.

The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmedinajad, told the AP news agency last week that he would ask the judiciary to speed up their investigation, and to look at the case "with maximum leniency".

The Swiss foreign ministry has not commented on the State Department announcement.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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