Iran sets trial date for American hikers

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TEHRAN — Two American hikers held in Iranian custody for nearly 15 months as well as a companion released in September who is now back in the United States will be tried Nov. 6 on spying accusations, a lawyer for the three confirmed Wednesday.

The scheduled court date comes less than two weeks before a fresh round of talks about Iran’s disputed nuclear program between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — as well as Germany. There has been some speculation that the timing of the trial date and the nuclear talks is more than a coincidence.

The imprisoned American hikers here, Shane M. Bauer and Joshua F. Fattal, both 28, will face charges of espionage and illegal entry onto Iranian soil at Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, said their lawyer in Tehran, Masoud Shafiee.

He said the third hiker, Sarah E. Shourd, 32, who was released on bail last month for medical reasons and left the country, will also be tried on the same charges. Iranian authorities have said that her bail will be forfeited if she does not attend the trial.

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