The U.S. State Department has warned American citizens that travel to Iran carries the risk “of arrest and detention” particularly for American-Iranian dual nationals.
This warning replaces a similar one issued a year ago, on August 22. The United States warning also mentions risk for non-U.S. dual nationals of Iranian origin.
The warning issued on August 15, also cautions U.S. citizens living in Iran to “closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country.”
The State Department also warns that the U.S. or the Swiss who represent the U.S. interests in Iran, cannot provide protection to dual nationals, as the Iranian authorities “make the determination of a dual national’s Iranian citizenship without regard to the dual national’s personal wishes.”
As before, the U.S. travel warning also says that the Iranian authorities continue to repress minority religious and ethnic groups, therefore travel in certain areas of Iran is especially dangerous.
It mentions Sistan-Baluchistan, Kurdistan and East Azerbaijan as unsafe areas.
Over the past few years, there have many instances of U.S. citizens, especially dual citizens who have either been arrested or prevented from leaving the country for extended periods of time.
A controversy erupted towards the end of Barack Obama’s presidency that the U.S. had delivered cash to Iran in exchange for release of detained Americans.
The State Department at the time denied the allegation, insisting that the $400 million delivered to Iran was the result of a court settlement. To the contrary, the Obama administration insisted, the money was withheld until three U.S. citizens were freed and allowed to leave Iran.