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Iran Travel Warning

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American citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran. Iranian authorities have detained or imprisoned Iranian-American citizens on various charges, including espionage and posing a threat to national security.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 23, 2010 -- The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran.  Dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran.  U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel.  This supersedes the Travel Warning for Iran issued July 1, 2009, to add information on treatment of dual nationals and a fax number for the U.S. Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.

Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States.  As a result, American citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran.  Since 2009, Iranian authorities have prevented the departure of a number of Iranian-American citizens, including journalists, who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons, in some cases for several months. Iranian authorities also have detained or imprisoned Iranian-American citizens on various charges, including espionage and posing a threat to national security.  Americans of Iranian origin should consider the risk of being targeted by authorities before planning travel to Iran.  Iranian authorities deny access to the U.S. Interests Section in Tehran to dual nationals because Iranian authorities consider them to be solely Iranian citizens.

The Iranian government continues to repress some minority religious and ethnic groups, including Bahai, Arabs, Kurds, Azeris, and others.  Consequently, some areas within the country where these minorities reside, including the Baluchistan border area near Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Kurdish northwest of the country, and areas near the Iraqi border, remain unsafe.

Large-scale demonstrations with sometimes violent outbreaks have taken place in various regions throughout Iran, in particular as a result of a volatile political climate following the June 2009 presidential elections.  U.S. citizens who travel to Iran should exercise caution.

The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in Iran.  The Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran.  Neither U.S. passports nor visas to the United States are issued in Tehran.  The Iranian government does not recognize dual citizenship and will not allow the Swiss to provide protective services for U.S. citizens who are also Iranian nationals.  U.S. citizens of Iranian origin who are considered by Iran to be Iranian citizens have been detained and harassed by Iranian authorities.  Former Muslims who have converted to other religions, as well as persons who encourage Muslims to convert, are subject to arrest and prosecution.

Americans who travel or reside in Iran are strongly encouraged to register through the State Department's travel registration website.  American citizens may also register in person at the U.S. Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy, located at No. 39, Shahid Mousavi (Golestan 5th), Pasdaran, Tehran. The telephone numbers for the U.S. Interests Section are (+98)(21) 2254-2178 and (+98)(21) 2256-5273, fax (+98)(21) 2258-0432, email: tie.vertretung@eda.admin.ch, website: http://www.eda.admin.ch/tehran.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Iran, and the current Worldwide Caution, which are located on the Department’s Internet travel website.  American citizens may also obtain updated information on travel and security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, from outside the United States and Canada, +1-202-501-4444.



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