The Australian government on Wednesday September 11th said in a brief statement it was providing consular assistance to the families of two British-Australian women and an Australian man who have been detained in Iran, declining to explain more.
An Australian blogger and her boyfriend, as well as an academic who had studied at Cambridge and was lecturing at an Australian university, were arrested in separate incidents, the Times newspaper reported.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the families of three Australians detained in Iran. Due to our privacy obligations, we will not comment further," a spokesperson from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in emailed comments, according to Reuters.
The three citizens have been detained in the same prison as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian aid worker who was jailed in 2016 on spying charges.
"It does sound extremely concerning and of course the UK government will do everything we can to support any British citizens who are caught in Iran," UK business minister Andrea Leadsom told Sky News.
The Australian government has been warning against travelling to Iran, "due to the risk that foreigners, including Australians, could be arbitrarily detained or arrested. Dual nationals are also at risk," the government’s official travel advice reads.
"We can't guarantee access to consular services or legal representation if you're detained or arrested," the government says.