Three Australians Jailed In Iran



Three Australian citizens have been detained in Iran, the Australian government said on Wednesday, adding that it was helping the families of the three but gave no further details. The three detainees are being held in the Nevin prison complex.

Both women were seized in separate incidents.

The statements came after Australian and British media reported that two British-Australian women and the Australian boyfriend of one of them had been behind bars in Iran for some time.

The blogger and her boyfriend had been documenting their travels on YouTube and Instagram.

It is thought the blogger is being kept in a ward for female political prisoners.

News of their arrest emerged Tuesday, at the same time as that of another British-Australian woman - an academic who studied at Cambridge - who has also been locked up.

"In Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case, we know without doubt that her trial was unfair, the case against her unfounded and that she'd been held for months in solitary confinement".

The nature of her alleged crime is not known.

Iran's judiciary said last month it had sentenced a British-Iranian dual national to 10 years for allegedly spying for Israel.

"The UK government can not keep sitting quietly by while ordinary people are being taken as bargaining chips".

"Iran doesn't recognise dual nationality", DFAT warns on its website. "Dual nationals are also at risk".

They are being held in the same prison in Tehran where a British-Iranian aid worker, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been jailed since 2016 on spying charges, the Times said.

Two British-Australian women and an Australian man have been detained by authorities in Iran.

Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office has agreed to their Australian counterparts handling the case.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the families of three Australians detained in Iran", news agency AFP reported quoting a spokesperson.

"Due to our privacy obligations, we will not comment further", a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told AAP on Wednesday.

The reports come amid rising tensions between the United Kingdom and Iran, which saw a flare-up this summer after Britain seized an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar.

Several British nationals with Iranian backgrounds are similarly held as Iran and Britain have been discussing the possible release of some 400 million pounds held by London since the 1979 Islamic Revolution for a tank purchase that never happened.