MINNEAPOLIS - The mothers of two of the three Americans held for months in an Iranian prison said Monday that their children have become engaged and plan to marry after they are released.
The mothers of all three Americans are back in the United States after visiting Iran to see their children. During the visit, they learned that Shane Bauer had proposed to Sarah Shourd at Evin Prison in Tehran.
"They are going to get married as soon as they have their freedom," Nora Shourd said Monday on "Good Morning America."
Bauer made a ring out of threads from his shirt and gave it to Shourd in the prison's exercise area. The third imprisoned American, Josh Fattal, will be the couple's best man, the mothers said.
The three friends were taken into custody by Iranian forces last July along the border between Iraq and Iran. Their families say they were on an innocent hike, but Iranian officials have accused them of spying for the U.S. The families deny the allegations.
The three mothers - Cindy Hickey of Pine City, Minn.; Nora Shourd of Oakland, Calif.; and Laura Fattal of suburban Philadelphia - traveled to Iran last week and had hoped to bring their children home, but came back empty-handed.
Over the weekend, Iran's intelligence minister said Iran would be open to a prisoner swap if Washington makes a humanitarian gesture toward Iranians in U.S. custody similar to the one Iran made by permitting mothers' visit.
Prior to their detainment, Bauer and Shourd had been living together in Damascus, Syria, where Bauer was working as a freelance journalist and Shourd as an English teacher.
Fattal, an environmentalist and a fellow graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, came to visit them last July, and the three went on what their families say was a hiking trip to the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
Bauer and Fattal, who had been roommates at Berkeley, now share a cell in Evin Prison. Shourd is held separately but is allowed to see the two men twice a day. Their mothers said on the day Bauer proposed, he asked Fattal to hang back from their daily meeting so he could pop the question.
"They need to be free so they can carry on their lives," Hickey said on "Good Morning America."
"He loves her, and they have gone through a lot in life together and specifically now. And they are anxious for us all to be a family."