Country Risk Code: Extreme
Iran, one of the largest countries worldwide, is blessed with a variety of landscapes. On the eastern region are two deserts and on the western side is located an extensive range of mountains. The peak of these mountains is almost high enough to stop rain from entering the east. Iran has the Persian Gulf Coast, which is characterised by warm water. With this beautiful natural environment, it's no doubt that Iran would have been a desirable destination to travellers, but crises, insecurity, conflicts, and violence have made that country a no-go area for most travelers.
Iran- Political Tensions
The U.S. sent an airstrike that killed Iran's top general on Jan 3rd, 2020. Consequently, this caused severe tension and conflicts between the two countries. Before then, the government usually advised citizens to exercise caution when traveling to Iran. However, since the U.S. attack occurred, many governments, like the U.S., Australia, and the U.K., have warned citizens to reconsider or not to travel at all.
The Iranian government has put in the effort to ensure that Iran has clean drinking water. However, as a visitor, the water might cause diarrhea for you. Water quality is poorer in rural areas as rain washes pollutants into the water system.
Iran is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the equator. The country rests on significant fault lines, which increases the risk of experiencing earthquakes. Minor tremor occurs often, but major ones can be life-threatening. In November 2017, a massive earthquake occurred around the Iraqi/Iranian borders, which claimed the lives of more than 500 people.
Women are prohibited from riding bicycles or going to stadiums to watch sports. Married women need to obtain their husbands' permission before they can leave the country. Divorce is highly frowned upon regardless of the situation in the marriage. There have been cases of women who stood up to speak against women's oppression being punished severely and sent to jail; thus, women tend to be conservative. Female visitors are advised to be mindful and avoid giving political and feminist comments, especially in public.
Hijab is also compulsory in Iran, although local women are beginning to push their hijabs back a little. Women are not allowed to expose their skin or wear tight clothes.
Travelling alone is generally safe for women, although there have been few cases of harassment. Women rarely experience violence and attacks while traveling.
LGBT and Transgenders Travel Advice.
Homosexuality is not widely accepted in Iran, although it exists. Anyone involved in homosexual acts gets a heavy penalty such as death. Although the local court determines the judgment, there have been cases of people being lashed for kissing someone of the same sex.
It's not illegal to be transgender in Iran. The state recognises transgender people; however, the Iranian society still displays conservative behaviors towards LGBTQ and transgender. There have been cases of the Guidance Patrol antagonising transgender people; therefore, LGBT people are advised to remain discreet.
Choosing the Right Insurance For Your Trip to Iran
Iran is prone to violent attacks. Check that your insurer provides the adequate travel insurance cover for emergency evacuation and repatriation. Many insurers are not permitted to provide cover to Iran, so it is important to double check with your insurer before departing.