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Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2023 3:47 am
by Alberto
GoldenPolyglot wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2023 10:20 am
So it sounds like it's pretty safe to travel to?

Is visiting Umbria, Khoy, or Tabriz worth it from Van, Turkiye?
I've been at the end of June in Tabriz (city) for 4 days. It is worth a visit. From there we visited the village of Kandovan and lake Urmia. Both were worth. Don't know about Khoy and Urmia but I think they offer less than Tabriz. However Iran is always interesting, I suggest you to cross the border.

Ah, and yes. it's very much safe

Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:05 am
by AmazingWorldBikeTour
LifeBehindBars wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2023 4:57 pm
Have you seen many Bike Travellers in Iran?

Are you concerned with having an Iranian Stamp in your Passport? - Excuse my ignorance, but what restrictions will you face having that stamp in your Passport? I understand that entering the USA could be problematic....perhaps that is not an issue?
How are you dealing with a 100% Cash economy? - is this accurate, ie - no credit or debit cards accepted anywhere! Did you enter Iran with enough exchangeable foreign currency for your entire trip?
You don’t get a stamp in your passport in Iran. They will only stamp your e-visa. As a cyclist going overland you will however have an exit stamp of the country you enter Iran from that would indicate a stay in Iran. I would be very impressed though if an US immigration officer would know that Meghri land border of Armenia leads to Iran for example.
If you don’t want to carry all the cash the MAH card is an option. For a 20% fee you can send money from outside of Iran. Alternatively you Canaan’s over your cash Ton agent of the company for free. Card is something like 15 or 20 dollars.

In any case. If you are a cyclist and not from UK, USA or any other country that has specific trouble with Iran, we highly recommend. Despite the government it has been the highlight on our route so far.

Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2023 6:25 pm
by TautTruffle
Alberto wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2023 3:47 am
Ah, and yes. it's very much safe
Not really, though, unless you enjoy playing roulette with a rogue government.

There are currently a dozen Westerners - including tourists - and a whole bunch more dual-nationals in Iranian prisons on sham charges, apparently being used as bargaining chips to extract money and Iranian prisoners abroad.

The situation is getting worse. America just unfroze 6 billion USD to get a bunch of them released. This is obviously going to encourage the Iranian government to keep abducting foreigners.

Yes, the risks from crime and terrorism are quite low in Iran. But no, it is not "very much safe". The risk you will find yourself rotting in prison for years of your life is real and rising.

And that's before taking into account the ethical dimension of being used as currency for the release of imprisoned terrorists.

This traveller has decided it's not worth it.

Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2023 8:24 pm
by bwv812
This risk is real, but probably still lower than the risk of being killed in a car crash anywhere in the region.

Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 8:46 am
by TheNonFlyingDutchman
bwv812 wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2023 8:24 pm
This risk is real, but probably still lower than the risk of being killed in a car crash anywhere in the region.
Does this say something about the safety or the driving style? Feels a bit like a blunt statement..?

Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 9:53 am
by bwv812
Road safety isn't something that many people would think of as a real safety/security consideration, yet statistically it's probably a greater threat than that of being arrested in Iran. Whether you see this as us improperly discounting the road-related dangers or over-estimating the risk of being arrested is a matter of perspective.

Personally, I was more than willing to take both risks (though perhaps I should have thought twice about the nigh-time share taxi from Irkeshtam to Osh).

Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2023 6:32 pm
by TautTruffle
Personally I came to the conclusion that the ethical dimension is kinda important in this whole decision.

Because, sure, the risk is low to an individual tourist. In this case maybe lower than a road accident, maybe not: in most other countries there are zero tourists being held hostage, and in Iran there's a very low number of tourists to begin with.

But it's not just about the risk to you personally.

If as tourists we get kidnapped and held to ransom - whether by terrorists or a rogue state - the likely best outcome is that our freedom will be paid for, somehow. The cost may be pretty high, either in money or prisoner swaps.

People are usually quick to judge backpackers who recklessly go to places with histories of hostage-taking and ransom payments, like the Sahel or the Horn of Africa. Even when the absolute numbers of incidents is small, the cost of getting the tourists out is not.

Given the current facts on the ground, it is difficult to see why Iran should be different.

Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2023 12:00 pm
by Roadtophnompenh
bwv812 wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2023 9:53 am
Road safety isn't something that many people would think of as a real safety/security consideration, yet statistically it's probably a greater threat than that of being arrested in Iran. Whether you see this as us improperly discounting the road-related dangers or over-estimating the risk of being arrested is a matter of perspective.

Personally, I was more than willing to take both risks (though perhaps I should have thought twice about the nigh-time share taxi from Irkeshtam to Osh).
The iranian traffic is perfect compared with Indian traffic !! You see accidents everywhere, but Iran is not bad at all in my eyes !! In fact if you draw a line from Istanbul to Mumbai, it gets worse every 500 km you go eastwards !!

Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2023 1:41 pm
by merodrem
bwv812 wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2023 8:24 pm
This risk is real, but probably still lower than the risk of being killed in a car crash anywhere in the region.
So, this means that each year more westerners are killed in a car crash then arrested/kidnapped in Iran? Is it true? Do we really have records of the number of western tourists killed on the road in Iran? :o

Re: Current situation Iran

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2023 10:28 pm
by Alberto
TautTruffle wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2023 6:25 pm
Alberto wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2023 3:47 am
Ah, and yes. it's very much safe
Not really, though, unless you enjoy playing roulette with a rogue government.

There are currently a dozen Westerners - including tourists - and a whole bunch more dual-nationals in Iranian prisons on sham charges, apparently being used as bargaining chips to extract money and Iranian prisoners abroad.

The situation is getting worse. America just unfroze 6 billion USD to get a bunch of them released. This is obviously going to encourage the Iranian government to keep abducting foreigners.

Yes, the risks from crime and terrorism are quite low in Iran. But no, it is not "very much safe". The risk you will find yourself rotting in prison for years of your life is real and rising.

And that's before taking into account the ethical dimension of being used as currency for the release of imprisoned terrorists.

This traveller has decided it's not worth it.
I was several times in Iran and know plenty who went there for tourism. No one ever had a single problem. Clearly risk zero doesn't exist anywhere. But you have also to look at the numbers. We are not speaking of a closed country like North Korea. There are many iranians and westeners who go back and forth from Europe. Sufficient to take any plane in/out Iran to see the the amount of people traveling... I also follow some hostel-pages and people who work in the tourism industry: Europeans are common there and are visiting right now.

I checked rapidly and there are 0 cases of swiss/italian (my two nationalities) tourists ever recorded to be taken hostages. Clearly if you have an US/Canadian passport it may be different because these two countries don't have diplomatic relations. Like said before the risk of dying in car accident is very much higher.

So I have to reiterate for the purpose of this forum what the situation on the ground is: if you have an EU/Swiss passport and you follow rules, visa requirements, etc it is safe to travel in Iran and the risks are statistically low.

This is personally my take.