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U.S. Official: Iran Denying Access to Detained Hikers

The State Department is expressing deep concern about the welfare of three American hikers detained in Iran since last July, saying they may be held in "deplorable conditions."

Spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that Iran's refusal to allow Swiss diplomats to visit the hikers in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison since the end of October is "outrageous" and a violation of international agreements. Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran as the U.S. and Iran do not have diplomatic relations.

Crowley said the U.S. would continue to press for access to the trio to ensure their well-being. The three — Josh Fattal, 27, Shane Bauer, 27, and Sarah Shourd, 31 — had been trekking in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region when they accidentally crossed the border into Iran in late July last year.