Iraq's foreign minister says he has asked Iran for information about the three Americans being held in Iran for allegedly crossing the border without permission.

Hoshyar Zebari says he brought up the Americans during a meeting this week with Iran's Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi, but he does not give further details about the conversation.

The United States does not have diplomatic ties with Iran and is working through the Swiss embassy in Tehran to obtain information on the hikers.

Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal were detained by Iranian authorities on July 31 after allegedly crossing the border while hiking in the mountains of Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Iranian television has described the three as spies.

Shon Meckfessel, a friend who says he stayed behind at an Iraqi hotel because he was sick, has said the other hikers made a "simple and very regrettable mistake."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.