A British-Australian woman who was jailed in Iran has been released, while another dual national is still being held, according to an Australian official.
Jolie King and her Australian boyfriend, Mark Firkin, have been freed and will return to Australia, after charges against them were dropped.
Australian foreign minister Marise Payne told reporters: “It is with some enormous relief that I announce that they have been released and returned.”
However Ms Payne confirmed British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert is still in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison where she has been for almost a year, having reportedly been handed a 10-year sentence.
It is the same prison where British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is being held.
“Very long-term negotiations” were taking place to secure the release of Cambridge-educated academic Dr Moore-Gilbert, Ms Payne added.
Ms King and Mr Firkin were arrested around three months ago, after allegedly flying a drone without a licence.
The couple resigned from their jobs in 2017, according to Australian media reports, and embarked on a two-year drive through 36 countries to reach the UK.
They had been documenting their journey on social media.
Ms Payne said that following their release they were in “good health and in good spirits” after being reuinted with their families.
Dr Moore-Gilbert, who specialises in Middle Eastern politics, lectures in Islamic Studies at Melbourne University.
It has not been publicly revealed what she is charged with but 10-year sentences are often handed out for spying.
Earlier, Iran’s semi-official news agency Fars reported that the Islamic Republic’s judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmayeeli confirmed all three were detained for spying.
The University of Melbourne’s website lists Dr Moore-Gilbert on its “Find an expert” page as a lecturer at the university’s Asia Institute.
It says she “specialises in Middle Eastern politics, with a particular focus on the Arab Gulf states,” and that she had published work on the 2011 Arab uprisings, authoritarian governance and on the role of new media technologies in political activism.
Dr David Malet, who served on Dr Moore-Gilbert’s dissertation committee, has previously described her as a “wonderful person and a serious scholar, not a spy”.
The UK is still seeking the release of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been held on spying charges in Evin prison since 2016.
She was sentenced to five years. She denies the charge.