The two Americans who were arrested two years ago while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border, imprisoned on espionage charges, and finally released last week, arrived on American soil at JFK just before noon today. Before the hikers left Oman last night, where they have been since Wednesday as part of their $1 million bail deal, Fattal said, "We hope someday to return to this wonderful country but for now we are eager to go home at last."

The hikers were very thankful to the government of Oman for hosting them, and saud they were relieved to be free finally: "We will never forget the excitement of seeing our loved ones waiting for us at the foot of the plane. The joy of embracing them all after so long will stay with us forever," said Bauer. Sarah Shourd, the third hiker in their group who was released from Iran nearly a year ago, was there to greet her fiance Bauer.

The three hikers were arrested in 2009 after apparently—they say mistakenly—walking over an unmarked border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran. Iran claimed the Americans were spies, but they have maintained their innocence. Fattal and Bauer will address the media in New York later this afternoon.