Iran

Iran

Use High Level of Caution
Avoid Travel to the following provinces: Sistan and Baluchestan

The Islamic Republic of Iran is located in the Middle East between Iraq and Pakistan with borders on the Caspian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf. The population is estimated to be about 79.8 million people. Known as Persia until 1935, Iran has a history that goes back several thousand years.

During the 1960s, the ruling shah instituted many social and economic reforms. Many Muslims felt the reforms brought a western focus and violated religious law. In 1979, the monarchy was overthrown and the country became an Islamic republic. Conservative and fundamental Islamic principles were instituted and a theocratic republic was established led by clerics. The government has a supreme leader as chief of state and a president as head of government.

In 2011, Iran received about 3 million tourists (and this number is expected to grow with relaxed visa rules). Iran is home to many ancient archaeological and architectural attractions and has 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some of these sites include the Persian Garden, Persepolis, and Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex. Travellers can enjoy visiting ancient cities and tombs, palaces, and museums.

Currency IRR: Rial
Language Persian (fārsi)
Capital Tehran
Recent Alerts 5
Latest Alert November 29, 2019 - Civil Unrest in Iran

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Iran. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Iran.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Iran.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Iran, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Malaria

There is a risk of malaria March through November in rural areas of Fars Province, Sistan-Baluchestan Province, an southern tropical areas of Hormozgan and Kerman Provinces.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in Iran. However, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers 9 months of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Dengue Fever

Although the risk for dengue fever is not well-defined in Iran, outbreaks may occur.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Cholera

Cholera does occur in this country.

Schistosomiasis

This disease is present in this country and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Iran.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers 9 months of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Iran.

Anti-malarial Drugs

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine if visiting the affected provinces. The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends chloroquine plus proguanil. The World Health Organization does not recommend anti-malaria medication.

Safety and Security in Iran

Emergency Numbers

110
115
125 or 123

Personal Safety

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, or other theft does occur Iran. Always be alert to your personal safety. Keep valuables secured and out of sight to avoid becoming a target for theft. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never leave your drinks out of your sight. Fake policemen pretending to check identification or pretending to conduct searches for counterfeit money have robbed tourists.

There have been reports of Western travellers being arbitrarily detained and questioned. Your country may be limited in the consular services it can offer if you have trouble.

Travel advisories and personal safety can depend on your country’s political relations with Iran. Travellers should check with their own country’s recommendations prior to travelling to Iran.

Avoid hailing taxis on the street, but rather ask a hotel to book a taxi.

Although road conditions are good in urban areas, traffic accidents with fatalities are very common as driving standards are poor, streets may be unlit at night and/or vehicles may be poorly maintained. Travellers should be very cautious with overland travel.

Always have your identification and documents available and avoid confrontations.

Taking photos of military or governmental installations is prohibited. Always ask permission before taking photographs of an unidentified building.

Female travellers to Iran may face harassment and should not travel alone. Women should take cues from the local women; dress conservatively and maintain a formal demeanour at all times.

LGBTI travellers should note that same-sex relations are strictly prohibited in Iran. Offenders could face the death penalty.

Travellers should take note of whether they will be travelling during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. During this time, respect the religious practices of the country and avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. Always dress and behave conservatively to respect local customs. Women should cover their heads, legs and arms, men should cover their legs. All public displays of affection should be strictly avoided.

You are at risk of arrest and prosecution if you converted from Islam to another religion or if you encourage Muslims to convert. It is also illegal to challenge Islam.

Women married to, or divorced from, Iranian men and children of Iranian men (even born outside of Iran) may face legal challenges if travelling to Iran. Seek advice from the Iranian Embassy and your home country before travelling to Iran.

Due to its location in an active seismic zone, Iran is at risk for earthquakes. Sand storms also occur in some areas of Iran and present a risk to the traveller.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid all travel to areas near the border with Afghanistan and to the province of Sistan-Baluchistan, bordering Pakistan, due to ethnic violence and conflict, a high risk of kidnapping and the ongoing threat of terrorism.

Avoid travelling to areas near the Pakistan-Iran border due to conflict, drug trafficking and a very volatile security situation.

Do not travel over land from Iran to Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Avoid travelling to areas bordering Iraq due to a dangerous security situation. The border is often closed. Reports indicate violent clashes in these areas, as well as armed conflict between Kurdish militants and Iranian forces. There have also been many kidnappings of foreigners from this area.

The areas bordering Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan should also be avoided. These borders are sensitive and foreigners trying to cross them may risk being detained.

Extreme Violence

Political violence occurs throughout Iran. There is an ongoing threat of terrorist attack against Western interests in Iran. Other targets for bombings are military parades, religious sites or processions, and government buildings.

Political Unrest

Anti-Western sentiment and domestic unrest may lead to political demonstrations. Travellers should avoid all public and political gatherings, especially after Friday prayers, since the situation can become violent.

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