Ten reasons why you should not travel to Iran

Iran has around one million monuments, delicious food, beautiful nature, and welcoming people, but if you have decided to travel to Iran, you should consider the risks.  I am going to give my fellow Americans some warnings before you get hurt, from someone who lived forty years in Iran before moving to this lovely land that is called America.

  1. The Iranian government looks at Americans and Europeans as gambling chips.  In Iran, you may be arrested for any excuse.  Then you will be imprisoned for years until the governments of Iran and the U.S. reach a deal.  A low ransom amount does not work.  There are hundreds of hostage-taking cases in the last forty years.  As the State Department has warned, "Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison U.S. citizens, including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security."  If you are a dual citizen (Iranian and Western), you will be a better target; the Iranian government will claim that Western countries have no right to complain due to the fact that Iran does not recognize dual citizenship.
  2. There is no private sector in the tourism industry in Iran.  When you spend money in Iran, you are not helping the Iranian people.  Facilities are in the hands of the government or well connected "insiders" who have been able to receive low-interest loans and contracts from the government.  They recruit their family members and friends.  When you spend in Iran, the terrorist government and IRGC benefit.
  3. If you walk your dog in the streets, the vice police or Basij members confiscate your dog and release him in the desert.  Dog-walking is banned in Iran because dogs are considered najes (religiously dirty), similar to infidels and urine.  Having a dog in the car is also banned.
  4. If you are a reporter and have credentials from a news organization, the government assigns a chaperone for you.  You are not free to go anywhere you like.  The chaperone (a staff member of Foreign Press Office) watches you all the time, and if you talk to somebody without permission, or go somewhere you shouldn't, these actions will be recorded, and you will not get another visa in the future.  This chaperone will guide you to report the government-sponsored events such as Friday prayer or Basij demonstrations against the U.S. and Israel.  Your report will be engineered to be a piece of propaganda for the regime.
  5. If you are a businessman and can find a way to ignore or undermine U.S. sanctions, you will be asked to pay a bribe and some percentage to the authorities to work in Iran.  The whole economic system is corrupt.
  6. If you are a woman, you will not be protected by the law and law enforcement against sexual harassment and abuse.  The government loves to oblige women to stay home and be housewives.  Therefore, sex offenders have a mission to help the government in this objective.  Whenever a rape or sexual offense happens against women, the preachers say, "Didn't we tell you to stay home, do not wear makeup, do not talk to men, and so on?"
  7. If you are caught having an affair with a married woman, she will be stoned to death.  The government has declared that it no longer enforces this medieval and brutal punishment, but it does it when cameras are not recording.  Shia Muslims believe that stoning is God's order, and the Islamic government cannot ignore God's words.  If the government wants to arrest and kill you, it is enough to send a married woman to your room and record what is happening in the room.
  8. If you are caught with a bottle of wine or liquor, you will bee sentenced to be lashed 74 times, pay a fine, and spend between one and six months in prison, unless you are lucky and have enough money to bribe the vice police or the judge.
  9. Every year, around twenty thousand people are killed and hundreds of thousands are injured in car accidents in Iran.  The driving habits, Iran-assembled cars, and the roads are awful.  If you want to come back alive and well, Iran is not your destination.
  10. According to Khamenei's exact statement, "all Westerners are savages."  Therefore, you are treated as a savage if the authorities decide to do anything to you.

When Americans and Europeans travel to Iran, they are not aware that they are in grave danger.  If you want to see Iran, think twice.  Watching YouTube is your safe choice.

Image: Ninara via Flickr.

Iran has around one million monuments, delicious food, beautiful nature, and welcoming people, but if you have decided to travel to Iran, you should consider the risks.  I am going to give my fellow Americans some warnings before you get hurt, from someone who lived forty years in Iran before moving to this lovely land that is called America.

  1. The Iranian government looks at Americans and Europeans as gambling chips.  In Iran, you may be arrested for any excuse.  Then you will be imprisoned for years until the governments of Iran and the U.S. reach a deal.  A low ransom amount does not work.  There are hundreds of hostage-taking cases in the last forty years.  As the State Department has warned, "Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison U.S. citizens, including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security."  If you are a dual citizen (Iranian and Western), you will be a better target; the Iranian government will claim that Western countries have no right to complain due to the fact that Iran does not recognize dual citizenship.
  2. There is no private sector in the tourism industry in Iran.  When you spend money in Iran, you are not helping the Iranian people.  Facilities are in the hands of the government or well connected "insiders" who have been able to receive low-interest loans and contracts from the government.  They recruit their family members and friends.  When you spend in Iran, the terrorist government and IRGC benefit.
  3. If you walk your dog in the streets, the vice police or Basij members confiscate your dog and release him in the desert.  Dog-walking is banned in Iran because dogs are considered najes (religiously dirty), similar to infidels and urine.  Having a dog in the car is also banned.
  4. If you are a reporter and have credentials from a news organization, the government assigns a chaperone for you.  You are not free to go anywhere you like.  The chaperone (a staff member of Foreign Press Office) watches you all the time, and if you talk to somebody without permission, or go somewhere you shouldn't, these actions will be recorded, and you will not get another visa in the future.  This chaperone will guide you to report the government-sponsored events such as Friday prayer or Basij demonstrations against the U.S. and Israel.  Your report will be engineered to be a piece of propaganda for the regime.
  5. If you are a businessman and can find a way to ignore or undermine U.S. sanctions, you will be asked to pay a bribe and some percentage to the authorities to work in Iran.  The whole economic system is corrupt.
  6. If you are a woman, you will not be protected by the law and law enforcement against sexual harassment and abuse.  The government loves to oblige women to stay home and be housewives.  Therefore, sex offenders have a mission to help the government in this objective.  Whenever a rape or sexual offense happens against women, the preachers say, "Didn't we tell you to stay home, do not wear makeup, do not talk to men, and so on?"
  7. If you are caught having an affair with a married woman, she will be stoned to death.  The government has declared that it no longer enforces this medieval and brutal punishment, but it does it when cameras are not recording.  Shia Muslims believe that stoning is God's order, and the Islamic government cannot ignore God's words.  If the government wants to arrest and kill you, it is enough to send a married woman to your room and record what is happening in the room.
  8. If you are caught with a bottle of wine or liquor, you will bee sentenced to be lashed 74 times, pay a fine, and spend between one and six months in prison, unless you are lucky and have enough money to bribe the vice police or the judge.
  9. Every year, around twenty thousand people are killed and hundreds of thousands are injured in car accidents in Iran.  The driving habits, Iran-assembled cars, and the roads are awful.  If you want to come back alive and well, Iran is not your destination.
  10. According to Khamenei's exact statement, "all Westerners are savages."  Therefore, you are treated as a savage if the authorities decide to do anything to you.

When Americans and Europeans travel to Iran, they are not aware that they are in grave danger.  If you want to see Iran, think twice.  Watching YouTube is your safe choice.

Image: Ninara via Flickr.