The attorney for three Americans imprisoned in Iran said they will either be released or put on trial this week.
It has been one year since the Iranian government detained Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal after crossing the Iran - Iraq border while hiking in northern Iraq. The three were accused of spying by the Islamic Republic.
The American's families and U.S. government have maintained the trio's crossing of the border was an accident and they are innocent.
Iran's government is considering charging them with espionage.
"The three American citizens have been detained for illegal entry to Iranian territory," Foreign Ministry spokesman Rami Mehmanparast said, according to the website of the state broadcasting company. "So the violation of law is obvious and they should be answerable before the law like any other individual."
Mehmanparast said Iran is also considering other possible charges against the three Americans including intentionally acting against Iranian security, according to a state media report. Iran has not indicated that formal charges against the three have been filed.
Over the weekend, families and supporters of the hikers held protests in several U.S. cities to plead for their release.
"It has been very difficult for us all along to talk to anyone in the Iranian government, impossible," said Nora Shroud, Sarah Shroud's mother. "This is as close as we can get."
The mothers of the three Americans were allowed to visit them last May. Since that time, Iranian officials have not allowed the trio access to family, their lawyer or diplomats.