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Australia says Iran frees couple held for months; drops charges

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Australia says Iran frees couple held for months; drops charges
FILE PHOTO: Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne speaks during a news conference at Australian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha   -   Copyright  Athit Perawongmetha(Reuters)
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Iran has freed an Australian couple detained for several months and dropped its charges against them, Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Saturday.

The couple, identified by the ministry as Australian Mark Firkin and British-Australian Jolie King, were said by media to have been detained over accusations of flying a drone without a permit.

“The ordeal they have been through is now over, they are being reunited with their loved ones,” Payne told a televised news conference.

A third Australian, identified earlier by her family as University of Melbourne academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, has not been released.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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