Two Americans released from an Iranian prison have landed in New York after being held for more than two years on accusations of spying.
Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer arrived in the U.S. on Sunday at Kennedy Airport.
The two were released from prison last week. They arrived Wednesday in Oman under a $1 million bail deal and were embraced by relatives. Also on hand was Sarah Shourd, their fellow hiker who was freed last year.
The three were detained in July 2009 along the Iran-Iraq border. They say they were only hiking in Iraq's relatively peaceful Kurdish region.
Fattal and Bauer told reporters they were "eager to go home" just before boarding their flight to the U.S. from Oman, the Gulf state that helped mediate their release.
Iran's Foreign Ministry called their release a gesture of Islamic mercy.
Before boarding the plane in the Omani capital Muscat on Saturday night, the men — who had been given a harsh eight-year sentence earlier this year — made brief statements and thanked Oman's ruler for helping secure their release.
"We hope to someday return to this wonderful country, but for now we are eager to go home at last," Fattal said.
Shourd, who was arrested with the men along the Iran-Iraq border but released a year ago, was also in Oman and returning home with them and their families. Bauer proposed marriage to Shourd while they were in jail.
The Americans denied the Iranian charges and said they were just hiking in northern Iraq's scenic Kurdish region when they might have unknowingly crossed the unmarked border with Iran in July 2009.
Shourd has said that she, Bauer and Fattal made an innocent mistake in wandering over the unmarked border, crossing when a border guard of unknown nationality waved to them to approach. That's when they were told they had crossed into Iran and were arrested, Shourd has said. The three are graduates of the University of California, Berkeley.
Bauer told reporters Saturday that he won't forget the feeling of seeing their loved ones waiting for them in Oman.
"The joy of embracing them all after so long will stay with us forever," Bauer said.
Since her release, Shourd has lived in Oakland, Calif. Bauer, a freelance journalist, grew up in Onamia, Minn., and Fattal, an environmental activist, is from a Philadelphia suburb.