A COUPLE arrested on suspicion of spying in Iran have spoken of their relief after being released from Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

Jolie King, whose father Mike lives in Maldon, and boyfriend Mark Firkin were detained in August for allegedly using a drone to take pictures and video of military areas and other unauthorised zones.

They were on a three-year trip driving from their home in Australia to the UK.

Last month Mr King made a plea to the Iranian Government to release the couple.

They have now been set free after the charges against them were dropped and are back in Australia.

In a statement, the couple said: “We are extremely happy and relieved to be safely back in Australia with those we love.

“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.”

The couple said they now plan to get back to their “normal lives” and asked for privacy.

They said: “We know there are others who remain in detention in Iran, including a fellow Australian, and believe intense media coverage may not be helpful for efforts to bring them home.”

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne told reporters at the weekend that it was “with some enormous relief” she could announce Ms King and Mr Firkin “have been released and returned”, and all charges against them had been dropped.

Ms King and Mr Firkin, who left their home in Perth, Western Australia, in 2017, had been posting updates on their trip across Asia on social media before being arrested.

They posted their videos on YouTube to help fund the trip, which included aerial shots filmed using their drone.

Ms King’s father had said he “just wanted to be reunited with his daughter”.

Ms Payne confirmed British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert is still in Evin prison where she has been for almost a year, having reportedly been handed a ten-year sentence.

“She has been detained for some considerable time, and has faced the Iranian legal system and has been convicted and sentenced,” she said.

Ms Payne said “very long-term negotiations” were taking place to secure the release of the Cambridge-educated academic.