Middle East

Iran confirms it has detained three Australians over 'photographs, spying'

Jolie King and Mark Firkin spent several months inside a notorious Iranian prison. Source: Facebook

The detention of three Australian citizens in Iran has been confirmed by the country's judiciary.

Iran's judiciary has confirmed the detention of three Australian citizens that had been announced last week by the Australian government, according to Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.

"Two of them had taken pictures in military areas and the third (was detained) for spying for a third country," Fars quoted judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili as saying on Tuesday.

"The court will decide whether this person (detained for spying) is guilty or not."

Esmaili did not identify the detained people and gave no details about when they had been arrested.

Australia's foreign ministry had said it was providing consular assistance to the families of three Australians detained in Iran after Britain's Times newspaper reported that two British-Australian women and the Australian boyfriend of one of them had been detained in Iran.

Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert
Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert.

Jolie King and Mark Firkin have been identified as the travelling Australian couple detained in Iran, while Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been identified as the third Australian.

The newspaper did not identify the dual British-Australians at the request of the British Foreign Office and said the Australian government was taking the lead in both cases.

Britain said on Wednesday that it had raised concerns with the Iranian ambassador over the number of dual-nationality citizens detained in Iran and the conditions in which they were being held.

Iranian women inmates sit at their cell in the infamous Evin jail, north of Tehran.
Iranian women inmates sit at their cell in the infamous Evin jail, north of Tehran.

It is believed the dual-nationals have been incarcerated in Evin jail in Tehran, the same facility which houses Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. 

The 41-year-old British-Iranian national has been incarcerated in the facility after being seized on spying charges in 2016.

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