Country Update

Mar 2, 2020

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • within 100km of the entire Iran/Afghanistan border
  • within 10km of the entire Iran/Iraq border
  • the province of Sistan-Baluchistan
  • the area east of the line running from Bam to Jask, including Bam.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Iran. However, for British-Iranian dual nationals the FCO continue to advise against all travel to Iran. If you’re in Iran, you should consider carefully your need to remain, and if your presence is not essential, you should consider leaving.

There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus originated in China, but cases have been confirmed in several other countries, including Iran, where there have been a number of fatalities. The Iranian authorities have introduced a number of measures in parts of the country to limit the spread of the virus.

A large number of airlines, including Emirates and Oman Airlines, have announced a suspension of flights to and from Iran. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder to access departure options over the coming weeks. If you’re transiting a third country while travelling to or from Iran, you may wish to check their latest entry requirements. You should not assume that the FCO will be able to provide assistance to leave the country.

On 8 January 2020, Iran fired missiles against two military bases in Iraq containing US personnel, and Iranian air defence systems mistakenly shot down Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 shortly after take-off in Tehran. There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests and the security situation could worsen with little warning.

If you decide your presence in Iran is essential, you should maintain a low profile and keep up to date with developments.  Avoid any rallies, marches and processions, keep away from military sites and follow the instructions of the local authorities at all times.

Several provinces, particularly Khuzestan, Golestan and Lorestan, continue to suffer from damage to infrastructure, following severe flooding in March and April 2019. You should follow any advice given by the local authorities. Given the damage to infrastructure, take particular care when driving and walking, keep a stock of food and bottled water, and make sure your phone is charged.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iran. Attacks could happen anywhere, including in places visited by foreigners. On 22 September 2018 there was an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province. On 7 June 2017, there were 2 attacks in Tehran – one in the Majles (the Iranian parliament) in central Tehran and another at the Imam Khomeini Shrine near Imam Khomeini international airport.

Iran is a Muslim country in which Islamic law is strictly enforced. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend.

There have been sporadic protests across the country about the economic situation in Iran. You should exercise caution and avoid any protests or rallies and follow the instructions of the local authorities.

For more information

+ 61 2 8019-7269
enquiry@steningsimpson.com.au