Sep 21, 2011 at 10:06 am
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said he was thrilled to hear to learn about Wednesday's release of Minnesota native Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal after more than two years held in Iran on spying charges.
"I'm very relieved that they've been released. This has obviously been an incredible ordeal for them and for their families, who have been stellar throughout this," Franken told KNSI Wednesday.
Franken, along with fellow U.S. Senator from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar, was a strong advocate for the pair's release. The lawmakers jointly introduced a resolution calling on the Iranian government to release the hikers last year.
Franken said he remained in constant contact with Bauer's mother Cindy Hickey of Pine City and praised the poise of Bauer's family in the 26 months since the pair were arrested while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009.
"(Family members) have been unbelievably strong, unbelievably restrained in the way they've acted. It's been a real ordeal for them -- and obviously, for Shane and Josh," Franken said.
"I'm very, very happy this day," Franken said. "This is a day we've been waiting for for two years."