I contacted the IranSafar travel agency a few weeks ago and inquired about a visa to the Islamic Republic of Iran. While American citizens are required to travel in groups, German citizens can travel independently.
The agency offered to apply on my behalf for an authorization code for a Visa on Arrival (or at the consulate) for Iran.
I have always been concerned about Iran for two reasons:
- Iran has shown a lot of xenophobia towards journalists and bloggers in the past
- While I’m a German citizen, I’m also a US citizen – something that just does not fit the categories well for immigration and visas
For most countries, dual citizenship isn’t an issue and they generally allow ‘cherry picking’ – you can choose your nationality for immigration. Iran does that too, but what if an overzealous immigration officer has had a bad day?
Iran has also had a hard time with voices that write about Iran in a critical manner. Now the country is promoting tourism and ‘travel blogging’ is something they encourage rather than discourage, so the travel blogging category would likely not be suspicious.
Iran has some fantastic sights to see and I’d like to be able to paint a picture of how this country really works. I’m very curious.
So folks – should I go to Iran?