A number of international media outlets, including CNN, have reported that three Americans have been detained by Iranian forces.
The three had been visiting Ahmed Awa, a popular tourist destination in Iraq’s Kurdish region, which lacks clearly marked borders with Iran, when they were detained, CNN reported. Ahmed Awa lies about 90 kilometers (55 miles) northeast of Suleymaniyeh.
US State Department spokeswoman Megan Mattson said the US embassy in Iraq was ‘aware of the report’ and ‘using all available means to determine the facts of this case’.
A senior security official in the Iraqi city of Suleymaniyeh, Qadr Hamajan, said the Americans were among a group of four hikers that had arrived there on Wednesday.
The fourth member of the group, who took ill and stayed behind at a hotel, spoke by telephone to the group who told him they were ‘being held by soldiers who are not speaking Kurdish or Arabic’.
A Kurdish security official has meanwhile said police had warned the group not to cross the border.
The Iranian government has not yet commented on the issue.