Six Americans, including a former pilot for Jimmy Carter's Georgia political campaigns, are being held in Iranian prisons, the State Department said yesterday.
The department, in a cautiously worded statement, said it could provide only limited information because of privacy laws as well as concern for the prisoners' welfare.
There is no indication of a political dimension in these cases similar to that of the American hostages held in Iran for 14 months, according to official sources.
Among the six Americans being held, the department said, is Erwin David Rabhan, a pilot for Carter's 1970 gubernatorial campaign.
In late 1976, shortly after Carter's election to the presidency, Rabhan was reported to be under federal investigation in connection with various business ventures. However, he was said to have left this country for Tehran, where he also had business interests.
Another captive is a free-lance journalist, Jerry Graham. Seized last December, he is believed to be the most recently arrested of the six.
Two of the prisoners, according to official sources, are American women married to Iranians. The State Department declined to name them.
Still another captive is Zia Nassary, an Afghan-born naturalized American arrested in Tehran in March, 1980, while promoting the cause of Afghan refugees.
The identity of the sixth person could not be learned.
The State Department declined to discuss the charges, formal or informal, against the Americans. There was no indication that the prisoners knew each other or that their cases were connected.
A spokesman said efforts are being made through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, the protecting power for Americans in Iran, to gain consular access and provide counsel to the prisoners.