Iran latest: Two British-Australian women arrested and detained in Tehran

An Iranian inmate peers from behind a wall as a guard walks by at the female section of the infamous Evin jail

An Iranian inmate peers from in the aid of a wall as a guard walks by on the female section of the unfriendly Evin jail Credit rating AFP

The Australian Office of International Affairs and Trade did not promptly to answer to requests for comment.

The Times said one of the women was arrested with her boyfriend 10 weeks ago on unknown charges while another woman was jailed for 10 years and is being held in solitary confinement.

It was unclear when or why the lecturer was arrested, the newspaper said.

The cases of the two women are believed to be the first imprisonments in Iran of British passport holders who do not also have Iranian nationality.

Whereas the costs in opposition to her also dwell unclear, 10-year phrases are routinely given in Iran for spying costs, the paper reported.

Australia on Wednesday 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.

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

Followers of the pair's social media accounts had expressed concern about their silence in recent weeks.

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

The latest round of detentions come as tensions between Iran and the West remain particularly high over a recent dispute over oil tankers, and the reintroduction of crippling economic sanctions on Iran after the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last May.

Those detained in the past 18 months include U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, arrested in July 2018; Morad Tahbaz, a British-Iranian businessman who was held in January a year ago; and Aras Amiri, an Iranian with British residency who worked at the British Council in London and was arrested in late November 2018.

On Tuesday, Raab had summoned Iran's ambassador to say that oil on an Iranian tanker detained in Gibraltar had been transferred to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.

The British ship, crewed by Swedish workers, is still being held by Iran.

Located in northern part of capital, Evin prison is notable for keeping political prisoners, dissidents and Iranians with dual nationality accused of plotting against the government.

In most cases, Iran's judiciary had cited security-related charges or spying on behalf of foreign governments - both of which can carry the death penalty in Iran.

It warns "there is a risk that foreigners, including Australians, could be arbitrarily detained, or arrested".

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