By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
A close friend of hiker Josh Fattal, seized with two others in Iran and charged with spying, tells Whispers that his pal is no spy. "Josh definitely did not work for the CIA," says Benjamin Smith, a fellow hiker and Tufts University senior. "His interests are mainly environmentalism and food." Iran arrested Fattal, 27, Shane Bauer, 27, and Sarah Shourd, 31, after they crossed from Iraq into Iran in July, apparently by mistake. In defending his friend, Smith says Fattal was a teacher of nonviolent communication. "He was not the type of person with ulterior motives," says Smith.