SYDNEY: Australia yesterday revealed that three of its citizens had been detained in Iran, the latest in a series of Westerners to be seized by authorities in Tehran.

News of the trio’s detention comes at a sensitive geopolitical juncture, and after Australia announced that it would join a US-led mission to protect shipping through the Strait of Hormuz with tensions high in the Gulf region.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the families of three Australians detained in Iran,” a spokesperson told AFP, declining to comment further citing privacy obligations.

Canberra is battling to keep efforts to free the trio under wraps, and it is not clear if the three have been charged.

Confirmation of their detention comes after the Times of London reported that two British-Australian women were being held in Tehran’s Evin prison, and Australian broadcaster ABC said that the Australian boyfriend of one of the women was also detained. – AFP