Two British Australians and Australian citizen held in Iran

Two British Australians and Australian citizen held in Iran

The arrests come amid tensions between Iran and United States and its allies, including Australia.

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

Three Australians have been arrested and detained in Iran.

"Due to our privacy obligations, we will not comment further", the department said in a statement.

The arrests consist of two female British-Australian nationals and the Australian boyfriend of one.

The nature of the charges is unclear at the moment, with London and Tehran so far silent about her arrest and reported trial. They were reportedly keeping their followers on social media posted about the journey and it was the absence of the updates that initially prompted concern.

A file photo of Erin Jail in Tehran where the Australian women are reportedly being held.

Iran has responded by resuming some prescribed nuclear activities, which it insists are allowed under the framework of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Alistair Burt, a former British foreign office minister, told the UK's BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Iran works on the basis of putting pressure on countries it believes are hostile to it. Hostage-taking has become part of the process and it's deeply worrying".

Already hard relations with Iran have threatened to boil over since United States President Donald Trump abandoned a deal on Iran's nuclear programme in 2018.

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"All Australian citizens and holders of dual nationality with Australia who are travelling to or through Iran are urged to follow the travel advice on the DFAT Smart Traveller website", the department said.

Tehran has pursued a campaign of detaining Iranian and dual nationals academics in recent years, raising fears the Islamic republic is using them as diplomatic leverage.

The British ship, crewed by Swedish workers, is still being held by Iran.

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

A few weeks later Iran seized a British oil tanker for alleged marine violations, Reuters reported.

Middle East Eye had reported exclusively on Friday that the supertanker had offloaded to a port in the country.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is aware of the situation and is working to provide assistance to the families of those involved.

"It does sound extremely concerning and of course the UK government will do everything we can to support any UK British citizens who are caught in Iran", British business minister Andrea Leadsom told Sky News.

The department's travel advice is now set to "reconsider your need to travel".

The latest arrests are also raising questions over the safety of travellers from other nationalities.

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