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  #1  
Old 6 Mar 2007
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Exclamation how safe is traveling in iran if USA declares war?

i´m planning a trip by motorcycle through pakistan, iran and turkey in august/september this year. as you can imagine i´m observing the political situation in iran very carefully, especially the dispute with the USA regarding the nuclear theme. in the last days and weeks TV and newspapers report more and more an arming of US army aircraft carriers in the persian gulf which might indicate a possible strike of US forces into iran.


well, i do not want to start a political discussion if US is right to do so or not, neither i want a moral discussion if making a trip trough a country whilst their people fear war is correct or not.

but as some people planning trips to iran i´d like to know what you think about traveling through iran if US declares war. sure there are plenty of other forums discussing such themes but i thought asking a well experienced traveling community like this could give more reliable answers...
not to cross iran would mean a many thousand kilometers long and complicated detour which even some other travellers would like to avoid.

will the US just concentrate on the nuclear powerplants and leave cities and streets uncared? what/how will people might tread or act on a traveller? will neighbor countries close their borders? what do other travellers think about? if irans reading this thread, what is your opinion? many other questions will come up in the discussion....

so lets start... regards, matthias
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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Hope that good sense prevails and diplomatic talks will suffice.

I'd assume that it will not happen -war that is. And go with that. Other wise you’ll never go anywhere base on the what ifs!

So I'm not answer you qusetion on "what if" because it is just that a- "what if"

"what if" I die. "what if" the bike explodes "what if" I get robbed. "what if" I get mugged. "what if" I get kiddnaped. "what if" anything..


"what if" I find the Irqan people friendly - just like most who travel there...

Just do it!
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  #3  
Old 7 Mar 2007
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Question

I suspect plenty of what you read and hear about the US possibly attacking Iran is saber-rattling. Currently there is a great deal of ill-feeling in the USA towards the Bush administration and its policies, and I think that the USA already has its hands full with Iraq.

That said, I think some kind of airstrike is unlikely but possible, say 15% probability. If you were a westerner in Iran at that time, you would definitely want to distinguish yourself as having nothing to do with such an action.

Personally I think there are plenty of other places in the world, and I'd stay away from Iran in favour of other places until things change.
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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Seems these are the two points of view you can choose from

Personally, I would keep on planning and travelling. You can always turn back at the border or get out of Iran as fast as possible.

I, too, do not think it would be very probable that the USA start attacks, but even if they do: How likely is it that they actually start the attacks during those couple of weeks when you are in there?

But this is no answer to your question: I do not think anyone can answer that from the information we get. There was a report on Al-Jazeera recently saying, that a lot of the targets of the US would be close to tourist sites such as Esfahan and Persepolis. But what does that mean really? I could not tell if I would be endangered by that? I would not base my trip plans on such vague information.

But would guesst that the Iranians would not turn against you in any case, polite as they are. They would probably be glad to have visitors despite the trouble.

As far as I remember, in case of Iraq the western governments warned their citizens way ahead of the attacks to get out of the country. I would be amazed if that would not be the case in Iran.

However, I would be prepared to abort my trip or to get out of the country in that IMHO highly unlikely case that the attacks start during my visit. I would never travel within an actual war zone (but who says that the whole of Iran would be war zone?).

Lars
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  #5  
Old 7 Mar 2007
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As another poster on this thread mentioned, the current president and his foreign policy initiatives are extremely unpopular by a LOT of Americans. What do I mean by a lot? More than a majority, as you can see if you Google any of his recent approval ratings polls...
I will be in Iran in April 2007 and hope to remind Iranians that politicians and their rhetoric are different than the people they represent. Somehow I think the Iranians won't have a hard time understanding that...
So I hope you're willing to discover Iran and let it and its peoples discover you...no matter what country you're from,and whatever rhetoric the idiot diplomats speak...
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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The current president seems not to be concerned about his popularity since a while. So I wouldn't concider that in your appreciation of the threath.

As a motorcycle traveler you're not immediatly a target, and typically I'd say the risk of being a casualty in case of an airstrike against Iran is small, unless you happen to be on a guided tour in a power station or nuclear plant at the time. So maybe it's wise not to visit power stations and nuclear plants while in Iran, and if things turn ugly, get out there asap.

I'm planning to go there around september this year. I'm not concerned about my personal safety (maybe the traffic somewhat concerns me). I am concerned about where it is al heading to though.
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbert View Post
The current president seems not to be concerned about his popularity since a while. So I wouldn't concider that in your appreciation of the threath.

As a motorcycle traveler you're not immediatly a target, and typically I'd say the risk of being a casualty in case of an airstrike against Iran is small, unless you happen to be on a guided tour in a power station or nuclear plant at the time. So maybe it's wise not to visit power stations and nuclear plants while in Iran, and if things turn ugly, get out there asap.
When America launches airstrikes EVERYBODY is a TARGET AND NEEDS TO DUCK !
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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North Korea?

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Originally Posted by duffyduck View Post
....regarding the nuclear theme....
What nuclear? Iran's got oil for crying out loud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duffyduck View Post
....what you think about traveling through iran if US declares war.....
Simple. Just look at Iraq and Afghanistan. Good models.

Peace,
Norman
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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I crossed Iran during its war with Iraq in 1989 and had no problems. I didn't even see any damage.

The situation now is a little different, though: the firepower the Iranians are facing now is an order of magnitude greater and the US has the capability to strike anywhere, anytime. This seems to be the most likely scenario, if it does come to an attack: there will be air strikes, but no invasion.

We should bear in mind that the US would use masses of depleted uranium weapons, which will contaminate the surroundings of target areas, causing cancer and other ill-effects for some time after any attack, particularly since Iran is an arid country, so the dust will linger and get blown around. This has happened in Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

I'll be passing through in a couple of months or so, insh'allah. I will keep an eye on the news and if necessary I can leave the country in a couple of days to Pakistan.
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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No invasion...

Yep,

I'm with beddhist. I don't believe they'll engage in a full scale war on the ground (at least, not yet, there's still enough oil to get elsewhere), and that's a whole lot of difference with Irak, and Afghanistan is whole other storry alltogether. For personal safety judgement I believe that 'if' it happens, it will be more like Lebanon in the summer of 2006, without the civilian targets. In Lebanon they don't understand why all those tourists cancelled their visit, still, the traffic is scarry... .

No joke. I'd say that the chances of being killed or injured in a traffic accident or like 100 times higher then the chances of being a victim of an act of war. Put that in the equation...

Rob
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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Rather insane thread. Who goes to a country at war??? It's a BIKE RIDE for heaven's sake. Go somewhere else or wait a while. When there is a war in a country a State of Emergency generally prevails which means you lose all rights and protection normally afforded by your passport.

My view - if you choose to holiday in a country where bombs are falling you are an idiot. But then I would have thought that was obvious.
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Old 7 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettUAE View Post
Rather insane thread. Who goes to a country at war??? .
It's a pretty easy question… A lot of Americans might choose the wrong president but I don’t let it interfere with my life (or travels) more then it has to do!
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Old 8 Mar 2007
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Rather insane thread. Who goes to a country at war??? ...
As far as I know there's no war in Iran. And I believe there're quite a few out there having similar questions.
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Old 8 Mar 2007
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As far as I know there's no war in Iran.
Exactly - the bombs aren't falling yet - and let's all hope they don't fall!

I can understand why many people are saying not to let a possible threat put off your trip plans... but on the other hand, there are other places to ride with a 0% chance of a military attack. It's terrible that ordinary folk are having their life plans and ambitions screwed with by this threat, but IMHO I'd just throw a dart at a globe and find somewhere else to go riding with less hassle.
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Old 8 Mar 2007
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Exactly - the bombs aren't falling yet - and let's all hope they don't fall!

I can understand why many people are saying not to let a possible threat put off your trip plans... but on the other hand, there are other places to ride with a 0% chance of a military attack. It's terrible that ordinary folk are having their life plans and ambitions screwed with by this threat, but IMHO I'd just throw a dart at a globe and find somewhere else to go riding with less hassle.
Yes there is a lot of other places to go but Iran has a special position because it’s the safest (or used to be) way to go to Pakistan/India/Nepal. It certainly limits the RTW-routes and Iran itself is a fascinating country (like Iraq and Afghanistan).

It’s a bit like when US bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum ( Harvard International Review: Universalism and the West ) and it became harder to pass through Sudan – suddenly both the Trans-Africa routes (at that time) were closed.

Another (and more important) factor is the people that happen to live in these countries should have the right to live without fear for bombs.
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