Australian travel-blogging couple held in Iran released: Canberra


Jolie King and Mark Firkin, who were arrested several months ago, have been released from Iran's notorious Evin prison.

An Australian travel-blogging couple who were last month revealed to be detained in Iran have been released, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Saturday.

An Australian-British blogger and her fiancé said Saturday they were "extremely happy and relieved" to be reunited with their loved ones after being freed from a three-month detention in Iran.

Jolie King, who also holds a United Kingdom passport, and Mark Firkin were detained in Tehran earlier this year for reportedly flying a drone without a permit.

The pair had been globetrotting since June 2017 and documenting their travels on Instagram and YouTube.

"While the past few months have been very hard, we know it has also been tough for those back home who have been anxious for us".

They thanked the Australian government for helping secure their release.

The couple asked for privacy and said intense media coverage "may not be helpful" in the negotiations for the release of a third Australian detained in Iran in an unrelated case.

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Payne described her situation as "very complex".

She said negotiations had been done "discretely" and noted each case of an Australian detained overseas was different and required "a specific and a particular response".

She said all charges against them had been dropped.

She added that they've returned to Australia.

"We don´t accept the charges on which she was convicted and we would seek to have her returned to Australia", Payne added, declining to comment further.

Senator Payne reiterated that Australia's official travel advice for Iran is now set to "reconsider your need to travel", with the highest warning level "do not travel" applying in some parts of the country.

The British government had also demanded the couple's release, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab last month calling the Iranian ambassador to the United Kingdom.

They had reportedly planned to travel onward to holy cities of Shiraz and Ifsahn, but they were confronted by authorities while flying their drone.