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WikiLeaks: US hikers in Iran were 'forewarned'

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By Teymoor Nabili

The New York Times has decided that the Iran angle is the most significant element of the latest WikiLeaks package.

Among the elements the newspaper highlights is a report that the US hikers arrested by Iran in July 2009 may have been taken on the Iraq side of the border.

The way I read the relevant document, it seems the report was filed by soldiers who arrived late to the scene and relied on hearsay.

Many will take it as definitive proof of a kidnap; to me, it's impossible to conclude with any real confidence what really happened.

But the really interesting comment comes at the end of the document, under the heading "S2 assessment":

The lack of co-ordination on the part of these hikers, particularly after being forewarned, indicates an intent to agitate and create publicity regarding international policies on Iran.

It would appear that the military not only knew of the hikers' presence in the region, but warned them in advance that they were inviting trouble.

Furthermore, it seems the military themselves concluded the hikers were there with the express purpose of creating publicity ... not rock climbing or hiking.

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