Australia on Wednesday (September 11th) 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, AFP reported.
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.
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.
Earlier this week, the Australian government updated its travel advice for Iran to "reconsider your need to travel" and "do not travel" to areas near the border with Iraq and Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison last month announced a "modest" contribution to the Gulf mission -- including a frigate, a P8 maritime surveillance aircraft and support staff.