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Adventure travelers from New Zealand relieved to be home after unsettling trip to Iran

The couple film their travels for their social media brand "Expedition Earth"
Iran New Zealand couple
Posted at 9:13 PM, Oct 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-26 22:14:30-04

A couple who are adventure travelers from New Zealand found themselves in an unsettling situation as they entered the border trying to travel into Iran.

Topher Richwhite and Bridget Thackwray film their travels for their social media-based brand "Expedition Earth."

After they were said to have suddenly stopped posting content to their Instagram account, fears were raised about their safety.

Soon after, media in New Zealand began to report that the couple was not imprisoned or detained and informed New Zealand that the government there was in discussions to secure their release.

The BBC reported that New Zealand's Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta had contacted her counterpart in Iran to start what would turn out to be months of negotiations.

Mahuta said on Wednesday, "We assisted two individuals to secure the necessary documentation in order to leave."

"During the period of time we were working alongside them, their movements were restricted. They were monitored, but they were safe and well," Mahuta said.

New Zealand, as well as many other countries, advises its citizens against traveling to Iran.

The BBC noted that Iran has been known to frequently detain westerners to use them in negotiations asking governments for conditions for their release, especially countries that have sanctioned Iran.