Three Australian citizens detained in Iran: Government

Britain's Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab walks through Downing street in central London on Tuesday. — AFP

Australia's ABC broadcaster reported that one British-Australian woman has been in jail for almost a year while a couple, a British-Australian citizen and her Australian boyfriend, were detained about 10 weeks ago. The three detainees are being held in the Nevin prison complex.

One of the women being held is reportedly a blogger who was travelling through Asia with her Australian boyfriend.

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

In a separate detention, a female academic. who had been lecturing at an Australian university, has been given a 10-year sentence. The newspaper said she was being held in solitary confinement but it did not know what she had been convicted of doing.

The nature of her alleged crime is not known. It's the same prison where a British-Iranian aid worker, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been jailed since 2016 on spying charges, The Times said.

Those detained in the past 18 months include U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, arrested in July 2018; Morad Tahbaz, a British-Iranian businessman who was held in January previous year; and Aras Amiri, an Iranian with British residency who worked at the British Council in London and was arrested in late November 2018.

He said Iran must be made to understand "hostage diplomacy is not OK" and the UK Government "cannot keep sitting quietly by while ordinary people are being taken as bargaining chips".

"Iran doesn't recognise dual nationality", DFAT warns on its website.

The latest two cases are believed to be the first imprisonments in Iran of British passport holders who do not also have Iranian nationality.

Two Australian women and one man have been detained in Iran.

Both cases are not thought to be related.

Iran has reportedly detained two more dual British nationals amid growing tensions between London and Tehran.

"Due to our privacy obligations, we will not comment further".

Britain says Iran repeatedly gave assurances that the ship wouldn't ship oil to any EU-sanctioned entity in Syria or elsewhere earlier than it was launched final month.

It will come amid a downturn in relations in between Britain and Iran, sparked by problems together with the seizure by the Royal Marines in July of an Iranian oil tanker in the vicinity of Gibraltar.

On Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab summoned Tehran's ambassador to London for talks.

Australia's foreign ministry confirmed assistance was being given to the families of the Australians being held.



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