In possible swap, Australia couple freed from Iran detention

In possible swap, Australia couple freed from Iran detention

In a possible swap, an AustralianBritish blogger and her fiancé returned home Saturday after being freed from a three-month detention in Iran.

The couple, Jolie King and Mark Firkin, returned to Australia after all charges against them were dropped.

At the same time, Iran’s state TV reported that an Iranian scientist, Reza Dehbashi, who was detained for 13 months in Australia over purchasing a defense system for his country from the United States, had returned home.

“We are extremely happy and relieved to be safely back in Australia with those we love,” the Australian couple said in a statement. “While the past few months have been very difficult, we know it has also been tough for those back home who have been worried for us.”

They thanked the Australian government for helping secure their release.

There was no immediate acknowledgment Saturday by Iranian officials or in the country’s state media of the couple’s release. However, that has happened in previous cases.

Iranian TV said that the Australian judiciary had planned to send Dehbashi to the U.S. but that he was released through Tehran’s diplomatic efforts.

The couple spent almost three months in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison after they were arrested for flying a drone near a military zone without a license.

Before their arrest, they had been globe-trotting for two years and documenting their travels on Instagram and YouTube.