US calls on Iran to free Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian
Washington Post shows reporter Jason Rezaian at the newspaper's office (AFP)

The United States on Monday called on Iran to release a Washington Post reporter, his wife and two freelancers arrested in Tehran last week.

Tehran's chief justice Gholamhossein Esmaili on Friday confirmed the arrest of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, 38, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi.

"We call on the Iranian government to immediately release Mr. Rezaian and the other three individuals. We continue to monitor the situation closely," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Rezaian has been the Post correspondent in Tehran since 2012 and holds both American and Iranian citizenship, according to the newspaper.

His wife is an Iranian, who has applied for US permanent residency, and works as a correspondent for a newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates, the Post said.

Washington and Tehran do not have diplomatic ties, and Psaki said the US had reached out to the Swiss embassy, which acts as a go-between on such issues inside Iran, to try to ensure that consular officials can visit Rezaian.

Esmaili was quoted by the IRNA news agency as saying: "The security forces have the whole country under surveillance and control the activities of enemies."

"They will not permit our country to become a land where our enemies and their agents carry out their activities."