An Iranian public television station has confirmed that three hikers from the United States have been detained.
The broadcaster Al-Alam said the three were arrested after straying into Iran from Iraq. The three were apparently backpackers who were exploring the mountainous trails along Iraq’s border with Iran’s autonomous Kurdish region, Kurdistan. An Iraqi official is reported to have confirmed that border guards saw three Americans with backpacks crossing the border, though they did not try to stop them. A fourth member of the group stayed behind in the Iraqi city of Suleymaniyeh. The three US hikers reportedly phoned their friend to say that they were being held by soldiers who did not speak Kurdish or Arabic.