Sean Penn Helped Negotiate Release of American Hikers Held in Iran

| by Michael Allen

Oscar-winning actor, Right Wing punching bag and social activist Sean Penn helped secure the release of Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, the American hikers imprisoned in Iran for two years under charges of espionage.

Penn reportedly flew to Venezuela and appealed to President Hugo Chavez, who then spoke to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, eventually leading to the release of the hostages.

A source told Reuters: "Penn was very committed to the case ... He flew to Caracas several months ago to raise it with Chavez and he kept on it."  When contacted by The Hollywood Reporter, Penn's rep said that the actor was involved in the release, but did not give details.

Penn has defended Chavez and has called for an end to the economics sanctions against Venezuela.