Mother of detained hiker awaits word from Iran on visitby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The mother of one of three American hikers detained in Iran said Tuesday that she and the other families have received no official word yet on whether they will be able to visit their children.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights and a member of one of the country's most influential families, said his office has recommended that families' request to see their children be granted.
But Cindy Hickey, who lives in Pine City and is the mother of hiker Shane Bauer, said she learned of the development in the media and that the families haven't received any official response from Iranian officials. Hickey said it's been 200 days since the families have seen the hikers and that their lawyer had been blocked from seeing them.
"We're pretty frantic about how they are," she said.
The families sent a letter to Iranian officials on Monday to ask that their requests for visas be expedited so they can travel to the country and see the hikers. The families also want to speak with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and ask for the hikers' release.
Hickey and family members of the other hikers -- Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal -- have said the three were hiking in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region in July when they accidentally crossed the border into Iran.
Iran's foreign minister said in late December that the three would be tried in court, but he did not say when that would happen or what the three would be charged with, other than to say they had "suspicious aims."
Earlier, the country's chief prosecutor said they were accused of spying.
Hickey said Larijani's comments this week gave her reason for hope, but she said the families have been let down before.
"We're hopeful, but we're very cautious," she said. "We've heard positive things before and nothing has happened."
The families of the three hikers have mounted support for their efforts on a Web site that includes photos, video and a countdown of how long the three have been detained.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)