Is it safe to travel Iran 2023?
Not long ago, the results of a research on Iran’s security for foreign tourists revealed that Iran’s security is at the level of European countries. In this evaluation, countries such as Kuwait and Qatar were also among the few countries in the Middle East that were introduced at the level of “low” security risks in the field of tourism, and the rest of the countries in the region were evaluated at medium or high risk levels in terms of security.
What does security mean in tourism?
Perhaps, at the beginning, we need to explain what exactly we mean when we talk about the existence of security in the tourism industry? In general, security includes health, peace, well-being of the individual, stability of society and being protected from harm by others.
Contrary to the negative propaganda of some western media, Iran is a safe country and does not threaten citizens and tourists. In recent years, despite the rise of terrorist groups such as ISIS and Taliban in the Middle East and some of their attacks in the heart of Europe, Iran has been immune from such anti-human rights actions and has been known as the safe island of the Middle East. Despite the relative insecurity that prevails in the world, not a single case of a large-scale terrorist incident has been reported in this country.
But in order to achieve maximum security in Iran, foreign tourists should pay attention to some dos and don’ts, which will be mentioned below:
Accommodation in Iran
In the tourist cities of Iran, it is customary for locals to rent their houses to travelers. This type of accommodation may cause problems with accident insurance. Therefore, stay in places that operate under the supervision of Iran Tourism Organization. Hotels, guesthouses and licensed local houses are among the approved places. If you are traveling with a tour, trust your tour guide about accommodation.
Cultural taboos in Iran
Staring at people, especially Iranian women, and kissing and hugging non-same-sex people in public places are not compatible with Iranian general culture. Also, men taking the lead in shaking hands with Iranian women is also considered against social etiquette. In Iranian etiquette, such cases are not very acceptable. When photographing cultural landscapes, especially if the subject is an Iranian citizen, it is better to get permission. Like many people in the world, Iranians also want their privacy to be respected.
Tipping law in Iran
In Iranian etiquette, tipping the restaurant waiter or the bellhop is not mandatory. These people get paid by their employer for the services they provide. Of course, you can optionally tip. This issue is different for people who are supposed to provide you with special services, for example, carry your backpack and equipment on the hiking trail. A 5 or 10 thousand toman bill is considered a good amount for tipping.
Beliefs in Iran
In Iranian culture, mosques, shrines and Imamzades are respected and visiting them, like all other religious places around the world, requires respect and humility. At noon and after sunset, it is not possible for tourists to visit some large mosques due to congregational prayers. After the congregational prayer, which does not last more than a few minutes, there is no obstacle to visit.
Dressing etiquette in Iran
In Iranian custom, women wear hijab. However, the Iranian hijab is significantly different from what is used in some countries and is diverse and colorful. Any type of covering that is not very thin and covers the hands, legs and hair is considered an example of Iranian hijab and there is no restriction in terms of choosing the color and design of the dress. This type of hijab is enough for traveling in Iran. In other words, hijab is not treated in an extreme manner in Iran, and you will realize this by watching the clothing of Iranian citizens.
Travelling individually to Iran
Backpackers are completely safe, just like those who travel to Iran with a tour. However, it is better to stay in places licensed by the Iran Tourism Organization and use reliable vehicles while traveling.