The Chief Justice of Tehran, Gholamhossein Esmaili, has confirmed the arrest of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife, according to the Islamic Republic's official News Agency (IRNA).

Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, who is also a journalist, were detained on 24 July, along with two freelance photojournalists.

The Iranian regime has yet to release a statement outlining the reasons for the arrest. However Esmaili was quoted by IRNA as saying: "The security forces have the whole country under surveillance. They will not permit our country to become a land where our enemies and their agents carry out their activities."

The Iranian regime is deeply suspicious of the press, and it is common for journalists to be detained, or harassed, with little reason given.

"We are deeply troubled by this news and are concerned for the welfare of Jason, Yeganeh and two others said to have been detained with them," said Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl.

Rezaian has served as a Washington Post correspondent in Tehran since 2012. He holds dual American and Iranian citizenship.