World

Australian couple arrested in Iran revealed as travel bloggers

SYDNEY: Two detained Australians in Iran were named yesterday as a travel-blogging couple. Perth-based Jolie King and Mark Firkin had been documenting their journey on social media for the past two years but went silent after posting updates from Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan 10 weeks ago.

"Our families hope to see Mark and Jolie safely home as soon as possible," a statement released on behalf of their relatives said.

Australia first revealed on Wednesday that three of its citizens had been seized by the authorities in Teheran.

The Times of London reported the third person was a British-Australian academic who was working as a lecturer in Australia when she was arrested in Iran nearly a year ago.

MISSION

News of the arrests came after Australia announced it would join a US-led mission to protect shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, with tensions high in the Gulf region.

The Times reported the women were being held in Teheran's Evin Prison and one of them had been told she was being held as part of a plan to facilitate a prisoner swop.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday the government would "continue to pursue these matters in the interests of the Australians at the centre of these cases".

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the trio and urged Australians to reconsider going to Iran. - AFP

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