US Hikers Released from Iran Prison, Two American hikers held in an Iranian prison for over two years were set free today, ending a standoff among President Ahmadinejad and the Iranian judiciary over their release.

A second Iranian judge who had already delayed their release twice signed their release order today and $500,000 each in bail was deposited.

Attorney Masoud Shafii, the lawyer representing the Americans, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal told ABC News earlier today that "The natural path has taken its course."

Shafii waited now inside the notorious Tehran prison where the pair has been held to take them to their freedom, along with the Omani and Swiss diplomats who've been negotiating their release. United States interests in Tehran are handled by Switzerland as there is no U.S. embassy there.

The news was also confirmed on the Iranian judiciary's website, which is comprised mostly of rivals of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. The delay of the hikers' release has been thought to be an attempt by Ahmadinejad's political rivals to prevent him from gaining traction on the world stage.

News of the release came moments before U.S. President Barack Obama was set to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Ahmadinejad is also in New York for the annual plenary.

It is expected that Fattal and Bauer will make their first stop out of Iran in Oman, as the Omanis are playing a key part in negotiations of their release. Oman is the same place that their companion Sarah Shourd went to when she was freed from Iran nearly a year ago to the day. Shourd was in Oman today to greet the men -- she's engaged to Bauer.

Ahmadinejad announced plans to release Bauer and Fattal on $500,000 bail each last week. Though one judge had signed the paperwork Saturday, Ahmadinejad left for that meeting in New York on Monday with the two American still behind bars.

On Wednesday it was disclosed that the the government of Oman paid the $1 million bail for the two men. A third hiker, Sarah Shroud, who was initially detained with the two men was released in 2009. Oman paid the bail for her release as well.

Bauer and Fattal's release has been beset by mixed signals since Ahmadinejad indicated a fast-track release. Iran's judiciary, which is directly controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – swiftly reminded the public that only the courts have the power to control the release's timing.

The two men were convicted last month for spying and illegally entering Iran and were both sentenced to eight years in prison. They appealed the verdicts and an Iranian court set bail of $500,000 each, opening the way for their release.

Bauer, a freelance journalist, and Fattal, and environmental activist, have denied the charges, saying they were just hiking in Iraq's scenic north, and may have accidentally crossed an unmarked border with Iran.

Shourd was detained with them, but she was released last September with mediation by Oman after her $500,000 bail was paid. The payment of bail in the cases must be arranged through third parties, like Oman, due to United States' economic sanctions on Iran.

Source: abcnews

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