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Oman plane to Iran amid bail efforts for Americans

Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer are shown in this undated file photo. The two Americans were jailed July 2009 in Iran, charged with espionage.

September 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Gulf state of Oman dispatched a private plane to Tehran on Wednesday amid efforts for a bail-for-freedom deal for two Americans jailed for spying.

Oman played a key role negotiating the release of Sarah Shourd last September.

The Omani official gave no further details on any possible timetable for the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, who were detained in 2009 while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border.

The $1 million bail deal was thrown into doubt when Iran's powerful judiciary announced that the deal still needed review.

The announcement was a potentially embarrassing situation for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had earlier predicted the hikers would be freed in a matter of days.

Oman has close ties with both Tehran and the Washington and plays a strategic role in the region by sharing control with Iran of the Strait of Hormouz at the mouth of the Gulf, which is the route for 40 percent of the world's oil tanker traffic.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.