The German government says it is "outraged" about the arrest of an Iranian female sports journalist a day before she planned to leave her home country to attend the women's World Cup in Germany.

The government's top official for human rights says Maryam Majd's arrest is "a further, sad example of intimidation and persecution of women's rights activists by the Iranian regime."

Markus Loening demanded on Wednesday the immediate release of Majd and all other detained women's rights activists in Iran.

Loening says Majd, who is officially accredited to cover the World Cup, was arrested by Iranian security officers the night before her trip.

Iran has no team playing in the tournament, which runs until July 17.