The wire services are reporting that one of the three Americans detained in Iran since July 2009 will be released on Saturday in an act of clemency to mark the close of Ramadan.
The news arrived to reporters by text message from Iran's Culture Ministry, and Ali Reza Shiravi, a communications officer, has confirmed its authenticity. He did not name which of the three detainees — Sarah Shourd, Josh Fattal or Shane Bauer, an Investigative Fund reporter — would be released. But the attorney for the three, Massoud Shaffie says it is widely expected to be Shourd. While Fattal and Bauer have been held in a shared cell, Shourd has been left mostly in isolation.
The release is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Estaghlal Hotel, the same location where mothers of the three were allowed to meet with them in May.
Iranian officials have accused the three of illegally crossing into Iran from Iraq, but an independent probe by The Investigative Fund located eye-witnesses who said the three were arrested on the Iraq side of the border.
This is wonderful, spectacular news. We hope it sets the stage for the release of all three.