American hikers Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, both 29, have finally ended their two-year detention ordeal in Iran and are being released from prison on Wednesday, U.S. officials said. It was also revealed that a private plane had been dispatched to the Middle Eastern country.
CNN reports that Masoud Shafiee, the attorney representing the two men, went into the detention facility earlier in the day with paperwork to show that a required $500,000 bail had been paid for each man.
The news of their release comes a day before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The road to freedom for Bauer and Fattal followed a series of delays and disappointments that included promises from the Iranian president that they would be released for humanitarian reasons.
Ahmadinejad indicated to NBC News last week that Bauer and Fattal would be set free, but conflicting reports on when this would happen had many speculating that internal Iranian politics, more specifically, a rift between Ahmadinejad and the country's ruling clerics, had been the cause of delays.
It is reported that officials from the Gulf state of Oman were instrumental in the American hikers' release, just as they aided in the release of Bauer and Fattal’s travel companion, Sarah Shourd, in September of 2010.
CNN reports that an Omani official flew to Iran on September 14 to assist in the Bauer and Fattal negotiations.
During their more than two years of imprisonment, many have pleaded with Iranian officials to free the hikers, including high-profile American Muslims, such as boxing legend Muhammad Ali as well as delegations of Christian and Muslim groups that have traveled to Iran and met with President Ahmadinejad.
The Omanis have also dispatched a private plane to Iran, reports CBS News, which indicates this may be the mode of transport for Bauer and Fattal out of the region.
It was not immediately clear when the two American men could expect to enter the U.S.