My heart goes to the families of the three American hikers held hostage in Iran. They must feel horrible. As an Iranian I can easily relate to them as thousands of my own fellow compatriots are held hostage in regime's jails.
Yes, it is easy to say now that there could have been more interesting and much safer places to hike around the globe. My intention here is not to point at the stupidity of these kids for their choice of hiking location. But the point here is how this mad regime can hold three citizens of a powerful country hostage for more than a year and then pays no price for it. I guess it is what they did learn back in 1979 with the illegal seizure of the US embassy. They learned that if they pick on America, there will be no price to pay. These kids are simply being used as bargaining chips and the Mullahs have a history of doing the same thing over the past three decades.
Aside from internal conflicts engulfing the Iranian regime after the 2009 election that delays their release, this whole show is just a big sham. The earlier decision to let the American woman go and then call it off goes to show the extensive instability and madness of this tyrannical regime. Why would the western governments think they can negotiate reasonably with such a tricky and demonic regime? The answer is that no one shouldn't expect to see any sanity from the Iranian regime's side of the negotiating table. In fact, there should not be any negotiations as these talks will legitimize the Iranian regime. Let them rot from within and help the Iranian people to finish the job before it is too late.
Hopefully the American hikers will be released soon.
Update at 8am ET: Iranian regime has let the female hiker go.