British-Australians, 1 Australian citizen held in Iran

Cheryl Sanders
September 13, 2019

Britain's The Times newspaper said the British-Australian woman was an academic and had been given a 10-year sentence, although the charges were not clear, dpa reported.

These most up-to-date cases are thought to be the initially imprisonments in Iran of British passport holders who do not also have Iranian nationality.

United Kingdom media reported that one British-Australian backpacker and her Australian boyfriend had been detained while traveling through Asia 10 weeks ago.

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

One of the women is reportedly a Cambridge University academic who has been lecturing at an Australian university while the other is reportedly a blogger who was travelling around Asia with her Australian boyfriend.

The two women are understood to be in Tehran's Evin jail, where Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 41, a mother of one from London, has been detained on spying charges since 2016.

Two British-Australian women of all ages have been jailed in the infamous Iranian prison where Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been held given that 2016, according to reports.

About two dozen holders of overseas passports have been arrested since the nuclear accord was signed, official Iranian news reports show, with around 11 of those taken into custody in the past 18 months, a period that largely overlaps with the USA restoration of sweeping economic sanctions on Iran.

"The foreign secretary met the Iranian ambassador this morning and raised serious concerns about the number of dual national citizens detained by Iran and their conditions of detention", the British foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Due to our privacy obligations, we will not comment further", a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told AAP on Wednesday.

Most of those with foreign passports arrested in Iran are Iranians with dual European or USA nationality.

The Australian government advises potential visitors to the Islamic Republic to "reconsider" the need for travel, "due to the risk that foreigners, including Australians, could be arbitrarily detained or arrested".

The Foreign Office has warned dual Iranian citizens not to travel to Iran. "Dual nationals are also at risk".

The family of the blogger and her partner say their arrest is a misunderstanding and they were unaware that flying a drone in Iran requires a permit.

Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would join a US -led maritime patrol in the Strait of Hormuz.

Britain later released the Iranian tanker it was holding.

Other reports by iNewsToday