[The related podcast episode was recorded on August 15, 2022. That’s just before violent eruptions in Iran.]

You have lots of questions about Iran, we know! One of which—maybe the third—is likely to be, “Is it safe to visit Iran?”. If you ask us, we’d say yes. If you ask your Home Office, they’d say no. Sure, it’s complicated, and if you’re reading this any time between 1979 and 2029, it’s even more complicated. Before we explain more, read our disclaimer below.

Disclaimer about whether it’s safe to visit Iran
We do not, and will never, advocate any travel that contravenes the travel advice provided by your nation’s Home Office. Information about travelling to Iran is constantly changing, so always consult with the relevant authorities before making any plans. Travelling to and inside Iran can be risky, possibly more riskier than visiting London. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

So… is it safe to travel to Iran?

We invited Michael Hilliard of The Red Line podcast, and Daisy, a French tour guide on an Iranian island, to give us their opinions about whether Iran is a safe place to visit. Both have spent time in Iran and are well-positioned to give us their respective ideas. During our recording with them, we also shared feedback from our audience on the matter, and surprisingly, they had a completely different point of view.

Before you listen, take note: these recordings happened before the street clashes that began on the 22nd of September 2022. Having said that, much remains the same, and where it doesn’t, we’ve added an explanation.

6 reasons why it’s not safe to visit Iran

  1. Iran’s laws are mostly based on Islam, and you may unwittingly contravene them.
  2. Iran once had one of the highest road death incidents in the world.
  3. Iranians are feeders, and will likely feed you to death.
  4. During summer, most parts of Iran are very hot, and you might be unable to handle it.
  5. The north of Iran has ski locations where you may experience avalanches while skiing.
  6. Due to sanctions, old Iranian-owned aeroplanes are still in commission where they probably shouldn’t be.

3 reasons why it’s safe to visit Iran

  1. Iranians love foreigners and will go out of their way to be hospitable.
  2. Iranians love foreigners and will go out of their way to be hospitable.
  3. Iranians love foreigners and will go out of their way to be hospitable.

Questions we also tackle in this episode:

  • How safe is it to travel to Iran?
  • Who is Micheal of The Red Line podcast?
  • Where is the Island of Qeshm?
  • What is Stabberstan?
  • What language do they speak in Australia? (spoiler, it’s not kangaroo)
  • Is George an Iranian name?
  • What does it take to get you jailed in Iran?
  • What should I do when the Iranian police want to delete photos from my SD card?
  • Who is TikTok for? (spoiler, it’s commie kids)
  • Are people and government the same?
  • Are politics and religion the same? (they are in Iran)
  • Is it safe to travel as a tourist in Iran?

Learn about Michael Hilliard and listen to The Red Line podcast

Michael Hilliard of The Red Line podcast

Be sure to subscribe to Michael’s podcast, The Red Line — quoting from it will make you the centre of attention at any soirée! He does a fortnightly “deep-dive” into geopolitical issues, with the help of differing, high-profile guests, with each episode. During our recording with Michael, he announced that The Red Line podcast had surpassed the impressive milestone of 20m downloads.

We had Michael join us for an episode about the JCPOA, also known as the “Iran Nuclear Deal”, and share his first impressions about Iran when he visited. Listen to that episode here…

Visit the Iranian island of Qeshm and stay at Coludang homestay

the yard at the Colundang Homestay on the Iranian Island of Qeshm
Photo of the Colundang yard, courtesy of Coludang, via Tripadvisor

Daisy, our French guest in this episode, is/was helping tourist plan their stay at Coludang Homestay, on the beautiful Iranian Island of Qeshm. The island is truly a beautiful place to visit and is boasts a UNESCO Global Geopark, as well as exquisite wildlife, such as dolphins and turtles that annually give birth on the shores.  To learn more about the homestay that Daisy refers to in the episode, click on the following link to see the Tripadvisor picture and reviews for Coludang.

Listen to a Russian girl explain why she moved to Iran to live

Ask An Iranian - Katya, a Russian Woman living in Iran -Stranger In Tehran

We recorded an episode with Katya, a Russian girl who married an Iranian man and moved to live with him in Iran. Katya is better known for being the woman behind the Instagram page Stranger In Tehran, where she explains to non-Iranians how life is in Iran between teaching the Persian language terms.

Translations of Persian (Farsi) words used in this episode

PersianEnglish translations
Havij bastani:“Carrot and ice-cream” – meaning carrot juice and traditional Iranian ice-cream, served in a cup
Chetori:“How are you?”

“a” appearing alone, is pronounced as a short-a — double ‘aa’s are long, as used in the word “water”

Image credit: European tourist begging for help in a fictional traditional Iranian setting, made using images generated with MidJourney and edited specifically for Ask An Iranian, 2023.