Published: May 23, 2010 12:45 AM EDT
Updated: May 23, 2010 12:45 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - The mother of one of the three Americans detained in Iran says the pain of returning to the U.S. Without their children is almost more than they can bear.

The three women returned to New York on Saturday afternoon aboard an Emirates flight from Dubai that landed John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Cindy Hickey thanked the Iranians for allowing the women to see the three. She said the women were disappointed they could not return with their children and that "the pain is almost more than we can bear."
     
Hickey said, "We will forever savor the precious moments we were able to spend with our children."
      
The detained Americans are 31-year-old Sarah Shourd, her 27-year-old boyfriend, Shane Bauer; and their friend, 27-year-old Josh Fattal. They've been held in Iran since July after being arrested along the Iraqi border.
      
Iran accused them of espionage; their families say the three were hiking in Iraq's northern Kurdish region and that if they crossed the border, it was accidental.