Two British-Australians, one Australian detained in Iran

Three Australian nationals, two of which hold British passports, have been detained in Iran, according to the Australian government.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, Australia’s foreign office said it was assisting its three citizens, but gave no further details.

The arrests consist of two female British-Australian nationals and the Australian boyfriend of one. No names have been released.

According to The Times, one of the British-Australian citizens is a blogger who was documenting her travels on social media with her boyfriend, when they were both detained 10 weeks ago.

The third person, a lecturer who studied at Cambridge University, has been handed a 10-year sentence for unknown charges and is being held in solitary confinement, The Times reports.

UK business minister Andrea Leadsom told Sky News that she found the news “extremely concerning”, adding that “the UK will do everything we can to support any UK British citizens who are caught in Iran”.

Both cases are not thought to be related.

However, all three prisoners are believed to be incarcerated at Evin jail in Tehran, the same facility where 41-year-old British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been imprisoned since 2016 for espionage.

The latest round of detentions come as tensions between Iran and the West remain particularly high over a recent dispute over oil tankers, and the reintroduction of crippling economic sanctions on Iran after the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last May.

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