REVERSAL

Iran Backtracks on Hikers' Release

The two American hikers imprisoned in Iran may have to wait a while longer before going home, thanks to a power struggle between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the clerics who control the country’s courts. A judiciary official denied Ahmadinejad’s statement that the two Americans’ release was imminent, saying, “The two Americans are going to stay in prison for a bit longer,” and that “reports of their imminent release are wrong." Ahmadinejad said yesterday that the Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, would be freed “in a couple of days.” An Omani official said a plane has been sent to retrieve the Americans if they are released.