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Moms of imprisoned UC Berkeley hikers to get visas to visit Iran

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Iran has agreed to let the mothers of three jailed hikers visit their children. The former UC Berkeley students have been imprisoned for nine months with little contact with the outside world.

Iran’s foreign minister says his government will grant visas to the three moms. Their children, Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, strayed over the Iranian border last summer while hiking in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Family members have been promised visas in the past, but nothing has come of it. Last week, Democrat Barbara Boxer of California joined Senate colleagues asking Iran to release the students on humanitarian grounds, or at a minimum, grant the parents visas.

She said it was "shocking" that the three have only been allowed one phone call home in the last nine months. "Think about it. All of us, as family members, what that would mean to us."

Iran has accused the trio of spying. Families of the former UC Berkeley grad students say it's a “cultural misunderstanding.”