During their stay in Iran, travelers should carefully monitor the current political situation and exercise particular caution on the following dates, among others: February 11 – Revolution Day February 14 – Anniversary of anti-government demonstrations May 19, 2017 – Presidential and local elections October 1 2017 – Ashura Fest November 4th – Occupation of the US Embassy November 29th – Assault on the British Embassy December 7th – so-called Student Day.
Travelers are generally advised to avoid rallies, crowds or demonstrations as much as possible. In particular, film or sound recordings of demonstrations, their surroundings or of police officers / security forces and public buildings should be avoided under all circumstances, as this can be viewed as espionage.
The use of various communication media is only possible to a limited extent. Both landline lines and cell phones are often inaccessible, and telephone connections to foreign networks are not always established. Numerous websites and communication applications are not or only partially accessible, such as Skype, Facebook or various email providers. Well-known VPNs and proxies hardly offer any access to the free Internet.
Photographing and filming (also with a mobile phone) should be handled restrictively and with the necessary sensitivity. There have been cases of tourists taking cameras off their cameras and temporarily detaining them on suspicion of photographing public buildings or demonstrations. You should also refrain from sending photos or travel reports that are in any way related to current political developments. The same applies to SMS and phone calls. Such communications are monitored and there are known cases where foreign nationals have been charged and convicted for such communications with their home country. Communication at home and abroad is sometimes very difficult and not always possible.
Since January 4, 2010, Iranian citizens have been banned from contact with numerous Western organizations and media. Iranians were also asked not to have any contact with foreigners, foreign embassies or organizations working with them “beyond the normal”. In individual cases, German citizens who had organized their accommodation in Iran via social networks on the Internet were reported to the Iranian authorities and asked to leave the country immediately. Travelers should bear this in mind when choosing accommodation, especially with hosts who are personally unknown to them.
All Germans who are staying in Iran even temporarily can be included in a crisis prevention list. The German embassy in Tehran recommends making use of this option for short stays so that – if necessary – it can quickly contact Germans in crisis and other exceptional situations.
It is not necessary to send personal and residence data separately to the embassy.
According to youremailverifier, in Iran, mostly in minority regions, incidents with a terrorist background occur irregularly. Since the Paris attacks in November 2015, Iranian authorities have increased general security measures in the border area with Iraq and Pakistan, but also in the capital Tehran. So far, attacks have not been directed against foreigners or tourists. Travelers to Iran’s border regions with Iraq and Pakistan should always consider the current situation in the neighboring countries.
In the province of Sistan-Balochistan (southeast, border with Pakistan / Afghanistan) there are regular conflicts between Iranian security forces and armed groups. Freedom of movement is restricted and there are increased security and personal controls. In November 2007 the Iranian government declared the province a “no-go area” for foreign nationals. Foreign nationals were repeatedly detained in the region and subjected to lengthy interrogations. In some cases, onward travel was only possible with an Iranian police escort the background of armed attacks on Iranian security forces in the region that have occurred frequently for years.
In the province of Kurdistan and the province of West Azerbaijan, which is also inhabited by Kurds, there have been repeated attacks against security forces, local representatives of the judiciary and the clergy. In this context, security forces have intensified their action against Kurdish separatist groups since spring 2009. Since March 2011, there have been increased armed clashes in the region between Iranian security forces and Kurdish separatist organizations such as PJAK and DPIK, with fatalities on both sides. The border regions with Iraq and the region around the city of Sardasht were particularly affected. Despite a ceasefire agreed in September 2011, violent conflicts broke out in 2015 and intensified in summer 2016. Ten people and three Revolutionary Guardsmen were killed in armed clashes between Iranian security forces and members of the DPIK on September 6 and 7, 2016 near the city of Sardasht. There have been several such incidents in the region since June 2016. Already in 2015 there were clashes with several fatalities near the city of Khoy, in the Iranian-Turkish border area (province of West Azerbaijan). There is an increased number of security forces in Kurdistan, and frequent controls and checkpoints are to be expected. in the Iranian-Turkish border area (West Azerbaijan Province), multiple fatalities occurred. There is an increased number of security forces in Kurdistan, and frequent controls and checkpoints are to be expected. in the Iranian-Turkish border area (West Azerbaijan Province), multiple fatalities occurred. There is an increased number of security forces in Kurdistan, and frequent controls and checkpoints are to be expected.
Terrorism in other parts of the country: A bomb explosion occurred on April 12, 2008 in a mosque in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. It is recommended that when traveling to Khuzestan Province, you should carefully monitor the security situation. On April 15, 2011, on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the crackdown on the protests of the Arab population against a policy of Iranization in the province in 2005, violent clashes broke out between security forces and the Arab minority in Ahwaz and several other cities in the province (including Hamidiyeh, Abadan, Khorramshahr). At least twelve people were killed and 20 injured. Any gatherings of people should be avoided as far as possible. According to Iranian sources, since 2015 in the province of Khuzestan and in other parts of the country.
Travel over land
Individual travelers should generally avoid traveling alone at night or in isolated areas. There have been individual cases of sexual harassment in cities in the past, so women traveling alone should be particularly careful not to stay in deserted areas, such as away from the regularly frequented hiking routes in the mountains.
Travel to the east of the province of Kerman and Sistan-Balochistan as well as to the border areas of Iran with Pakistan and Afghanistan is strongly discouraged. There is a significant risk of kidnapping and attack in these areas. This particularly applies to the area in the triangle between the cities of Zabol, Bam and Chabahar. The situation in the port city of Chabahar itself is more stable if the air route is used for the journey. However, it is recommended to follow the current development of the security situation carefully.
Unnecessary individual or trekking trips to the Kurdish areas in northwest Iran, especially along the Turkish and Iraqi borders, are generally not recommended. Occasionally the border crossings to Turkey and Iraq are closed.
We strongly advise against traveling to Pakistan or Afghanistan by land, especially by bike or motorcycle. There is a risk of assault and kidnapping on the Zabul-Zahedan route; on the Kerman-Bam route, after a roadblock was set up, travelers were shot by members of a terrorist group.
Travel warnings exist for Afghanistan, Iraq and the Pakistani province of Balochistan, which borders on Iran.
The German Embassy in Tehran cannot provide support for visa applications for Afghanistan and Iraq or for travel to Pakistan or India by land through the regions mentioned above. According to the Pakistani embassy in Tehran, visas can only be issued to German citizens who are resident in Iran and who are in possession of an Iranian residence permit. Further information can be found on the embassy website: External link, opens in new window Tehran Embassy Boat excursions Special features in the “Strait of Hormuz”
For boat excursions off the west coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and in the “Strait of Hormuz”, we strongly recommend exploring the waters around the islands of Abu Moussa, Greater Tumb.