Iran is usually an important country in the media. Still, it’s mostly related to politics and rarely because of its ancient underground cities, stunning mosques, vast oak forests, ski fields, and its coral islands. Iran has developed in tourism in recent years. Nevertheless, to-be-travelers are still in doubt whether Iran is a safe place to spend time. But what do you think? Are rumors true about unsafety in Iran?
Is Iran Safe for Travelers?
Yes. Iran is safe for tourists of any age, nationality, race, or gender. Iranians treat tourists respectfully and with the utmost care. But whether you believe it or not, Iranians can be overwhelmingly welcoming towards tourists, and it’s their only problem! Rob Hastings, the journalist of Independent, says: “… it was the Iranian people and their hospitality that had the biggest impression on me… the locals ensure that their country is not Middle Eastern North Korea or the closed society that many Westerns might expect”.
The attitude of many governments is to warn to avoid traveling to Iran borders because of potential civil unrest and the threat of terrorism in these areas. But it’s easy to prevent Iran’s borders because tourists’ destinations are not usually near the borders. This warning is because of terrorist groups such as ISIS and the Taliban in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Like the Iranian government, foreign governments prescribe tourists to respect Iranian and Islamic traditions and culture when traveling to Iran. But there’s no need to be anxious because Iranians are highly educated and are seldom violated by your probable traditional mistakes.
Do Iranians mistreat Americans?
The Argo movie may have made an unpleasant portrait of Iran in your mind; back then, when I saw the film with my friends in Tehran, at the first half of the film we thought it is a comedy movie, then we thought it is fictional; now I do not know which one was it. So, please do not pay attention to these movies with a political agenda; you’ll agree with me when you travel to Iran. Politics and hatred between the two governments did not affect Iranians’ behavior towards American tourists at all. Maybe you have seen photos of the anti-American demonstrations in which Iranians angrily burn the flag of the USA. But I should say these tensions are only between Iran and USA governments and Iranians have no hatred against the US citizens, and you’ll surprise to hear many Iranian youths love America. Los Angeles has the highest concentration of Iranians outside of Iran, with more than a million Iranians living there and call it Tehrangeles or little Persia. Rather than showing any hostility, Iranians try to displace their rich culture and heritage with the stereotype of Iranians are portrayed in the media.
How Iranians Behave Towards Solo Female Tourist?
Whether you like it or not, you’ll probably receive some attention from Iranian men, if you are a solo female traveler. “lady, where are you from?” is perhaps the most frequent question you’ll encounter.
But this attention is not constant or unbearable. Because as you know, Iran is an Islamic country, and many Iranian men consider it inappropriate to approach a woman on the street due to religious and cultural reasons. So, the level of attention to female tourists in Iran is less severe in comparison with many other parts of Asia. Also, violence against women is not tolerated in Iranian culture.
Transportation in Tehran
Snapp and Tap30 are Iran’s ride applications like Uber, which are safer and more identifiable than catching a ride from an unofficial taxi. You can use official taxis, which are mostly yellow and green, and would cost more than Snapp and Tap30.
Are Women Forced to Wear Chador or “Neghab” in Iran?
Women must always wear Islamic hijab (cover) in public, according to Iran law. This cover includes a headscarf, a “Manto” (a long loose top which is not sleeveless) and pants or skirt to the ankle. The Chador is also optional, and no woman is forced to wear it. The picture above says everything.
Also, men are advised to dress modestly, see this post’s top picture again, that’s it, wear like the guys in the picture.
Only when you are visiting a mosque or a holy place, like many other religious places, you are probably required to wear something, here in Iran’s sacred places you have to wear a Chador. But don’t worry, because all mosques or shrines lend you Chador for free.
But besides the legal restrictions mentioned, Iranian women’s fashion is broad and diverse. You’ll see most women in Chadors in rural regions, while you’ll be astonished by women’s loose and open hijab in uptown Tehran. During recent years, coverage restrictions have smoothed a lot. Note that Iranians are a fashionista, so remember to pack suitable clothes, so you don’t feel under-dressed!
Iran Government Behavior towards Tourists
The Iranian government is eager to attract tourists from all over the world. One of its news agencies stated that the government was planning to earn 30 billion dollars from the tourism industry. Iran president, Hassan Rohani, smooths harsh policies and visa requirements in 2015 so that you can travel to Iran much more quickly.
As a tourist, your first interaction with the Iranian government will probably be at the airport where immigration officials check your visa and welcome you in broken English. You may encounter police checkpoints along the path, but they are unlikely to inspect tourists, and you will continue your path without any pause.
Is ISIS Active in Iran?
ISIS is a horrific terrorist group that makes terrorist attacks in the Middle East and sometimes in Europe. But their crimes are almost unheard of Iran. Their base is in countries like Syria and Iraq, and Iran’s strong military almost has made ISIS and other terrorist groups vanish from Iran and have turned Iran to the safest country in the area. In June 2017, Iran suffered its first terrorist attacks since 2010. But this attack was not subjected to Iran people, and its target was Iranian parliament and government.
If you’ve come this far, don’t hesitate to visit this unique and ancient land, and as soon as you step into this gorgeous Iran, your sense of doubt will surely turn to a sense of awe and admiration.
So what are you waiting for? We’re willingly waiting to welcome you.
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