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Iran Again Delays Trial Of 2 Detained Americans

Detained Americans Shane Bauer (left) and Josh Fattal attended a February court hearing in Tehran. The two are accused of espionage, along with American Sarah Shourd, who was freed but is being tried in absentia. AP hide caption

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Detained Americans Shane Bauer (left) and Josh Fattal attended a February court hearing in Tehran. The two are accused of espionage, along with American Sarah Shourd, who was freed but is being tried in absentia.

AP

An Iranian court has again postponed a trial for two Americans who have been held for nearly two years.

Their Iranian lawyer, Masoud Shafiei, said he had been expecting to see his clients — Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal — but they were not brought into court Wednesday. He said Iranian officials gave no immediate explanation.

The two Americans were arrested in July 2009 while hiking on the Iran-Iraq border and accused of spying. They were detained along with a third American, Sarah Shourd, who was released in September on $500,000 bail and has refused to return to Iran.

Shourd, who is being tried in absentia, has said the three were on an innocent hike when they were arrested and that any crossing into Iran was inadvertent.

Bauer and Fattal have pleaded not guilty to charges of espionage. U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner reiterated the Obama administration's call for Tehran to resolve the case as soon as possible so the Americans can be reunited with their families.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reported from Cairo for this story, which contains material from The Associated Press

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