The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Iran. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Irish citizens are advised to exercise caution if travelling to Iran at the present time. A state of heightened political tension has persisted in the country since the Presidential election in June 2009. Large scale demonstrations with associated disturbances have occurred in Tehran and several other urban centres. Political developments have the potential to trigger further demonstrations and protests at short notice which can turn violent with little warning. Diplomatic premises belonging to the United Kingdom were the subject of violent attack and incursion by protestors on 29 November 2011. Irish citizens are advised to exercise caution, monitor local media reporting for up to date advice on security risks, and avoid all demonstrations while in Iran.
Irish citizens are strongly advised against all travel to the regions bordering Pakistan in the Province of Sistan and Baluchistan, the border with Afghanistan in Khorasan Province and the border with Iraq in Khuzestan and Ilam Provinces because of the persistently dangerous security situation in these areas. The Irish Government cannot facilitate Irish citizens wishing to travel overland through these areas to neighbouring countries with letters of introduction for visa purposes.
Iran is located in an active seismic area, and travelers should familiarize themselves with the appropriate steps to take in case of an earthquake, including carrying a minimum of emergency supplies, such as a flashlight, whistle and any relevant medication and liquid.
Safety and Security
Since the Presidential elections of June 2009 mass political demonstrations and associated disturbances have taken place in Tehran and several other urban centres, including Shiraz, Esfahan, Rasht and Tabriz. Further incidents are possible and demonstrations have the potential to turn violent with little warning. Citizens are therefore strongly advised to avoid any street gatherings or demonstrations while in Iran and to avoid taking photographs or showing an interest in demonstrations, as such behaviour, can result in arrest by the security forces.
Travellers have occasionally been victims of petty theft. Avoid displays of affluence and ensure personal belongings, passports, and other travel documents are secured at all times.
The standard of driving in Iran, particularly in urban centres, is poor and can be challenging to newcomers. Iran has one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world and travelers should drive with great care. If you are involved in an accident, no matter how minor, do not leave the scene. You should wait until the police arrive to make their report.
Local Laws and Customs
Please note that while in Iran, Irish citizens are subject to Iranian law, which differs in many areas to Irish law.
Iran is an Islamic Republic. Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in the country's customs, laws, and regulations. Common sense and discretion should be exercised in dress and behaviour. Visitors should dress conservatively (e.g., men should not wear shorts or sleeveless shirts; women must cover their head with a scarf and conceal the body’s contours by wearing a loose fitting knee length outer garment and trousers). Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.
It is prohibited to import alcohol or pork products.
Photography near military, government installations and many other areas is strictly prohibited; there may be warning signs displayed to this effect. Any transgression may result in detention and serious criminal charges.
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), visitors should refrain from drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Iran is located in an active seismic area. On 10 August 2012 two large earthquakes struck north western Iran, near the city of Tabriz killing over 300 and injuring many more. On 26 December 2003 an earthquake struck the city of Bam in south eastern Iran killing over 30,000 people and injuring a similar number.
Iran has a variable climate ranging from arid or semiarid, to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests.
Additional Country Info
For entry requirements to Iran, please contact the nearest Iranian Embassy or Consulate .
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that comprehensive travel insurance, including medical insurance, is obtained before traveling to Iran. Travelers should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Communications can be difficult with low internet speed, frequent interruptions of sms networks and sporadic severing of the mobile phone network.
The local unit of currency is the Iranian Rial and Iran is a strictly cash economy. There are no cash machines or ATMs in Iran that accept Irish bank cards or credit cards. Usually It is not possible to change travelers’’ cheques. Visitors should therefore bring sufficient hard currency (euros or US dollars) with them to fund their stay.
Irish Citizens with Iranian nationality should be aware that Iran does not recognize dual nationality. The Irish Government’s ability to provide consular assistance to dual nationals is very limited.