Iran charged three young American hikers with spying, Monday, hinting that a trial against them in Tehran could be near.
Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, were arrested in July after straying across the Iran-Iraq border.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the hikers crossed in to Iraq illegally and, therefore, Iran has the right to punish them.
"In all countries, crossing borders would have a very heavy sentence, according to the law," he said. "Hopefully, they will have an appropriate answer in the court, and hopefully they will convince the judge that they did not have any intention of crossing the border illegally."
Friends and relatives of the three held vigils in Oregon and Minnesota this weekend.
In Germany, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran should exercise compassion and release the hikers.
A traveling companion released video he shot showing the three goofing around just before they began that fateful hike.
"We just thought it would be a great way of showing the world who these kids are and the fact that they are harmless and they certainly had no intention of going into Iran," Alex Fattal, the brother of detained hiker Josh Fattal, said.
Clinton says there's no evidence to prove the three are spies.