Earlier this year, tensions between the US and Iran soared to levels that prompted fears of a conflict. Oil prices jumped as investors feared that attacks on oil tankers risked a disruption of shipments in the Strait of Hormuz, which passes by Iran and is the most important place on the planet to the global supply of oil.
Last month, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the country’s defense force would work alongside the US and the United Kingdom on a maritime security mission in the Strait of Hormuz.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs urged Australian citizens and holders of dual nationality with Australia who are traveling to or through Iran to follow the government’s latest travel advice, which is to “reconsider your need to travel,” due to “the risk that foreigners, including Australians, could be arbitrarily detained or arrested.”
Moore-Gilbert’s family said they have been in close contact with the Australian government.
“We believe that the best chance of securing Kylie’s safe return is through diplomatic channels,” the family said in a statement released through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, asking for privacy.
Moore-Gilbert is a fellow and lecturer in Islamic Studies focusing on politics in the Arab Gulf states, according to her biography on the University of Melbourne’s website.
According to the university’s website
, Moore-Gilbert graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2013, and completed her PhD at University of Melbourne in 2017. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CNN that Moore-Gilbert is a British-Australian dual citizen and said the Australian government was taking the lead on securing her release.