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Iran confirms arrest of three Australians

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Iran’s judiciary confirmed on Tuesday the arrest of three Australian citizens announced by the Australian government last week, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

“Two of them took pictures in military areas and the third (arrested) for spying for a third country,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Ismaili was quoted as saying.

“The court will decide whether this person (arrested for espionage) is innocent or guilty.”

Ismaili did not disclose the identities of the detainees and gave no details on when they would be detained.

The Australian Foreign Ministry said it was providing consular assistance to the families of its three nationals held in Iran after the Times newspaper reported a report on the arrest of two British-Australian women and an Australian friend in Iran.

The newspaper did not disclose the identity of the Australian and British nationals at the request of the British Foreign Office and said the Australian government was dealing with the two cases.

Britain said on Wednesday it had expressed concern to the Iranian ambassador about the number of dual nationals detained in Iran and the circumstances of their detention.

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