Iran... getting worse?
Just thought I'd mention my experiences... bit of a moan perhaps.
Does anyone else who knows Iran feel that police suspicion and harassment is getting worse?
I've spent months in this country over the last two years, been pretty much everywhere with my car, but I seem to be the object of abject police suspicion. And it seems to be getting worse. I've had police throw everything out of my car in the middle of nowhere, waste hours of my time hanging round in small police stations all over , and I've even been stopped at gunpoint (i.e. AK47 pointed at my face) by PLAIN CLOTHED police in the middle of the desert.
I realise that Iran has major security and smuggling problems around it's borders, but the police seem to view me as a spy / terrorist / smuggler or general troublemaker. Does anyone else feel this? One police officer between Nehbandan and Mashhad stopped me looking particularly pleased with himself. He showed me a small lorry full of old kitchen appliances, which were full of heroin packets. Using his detective skills, he spent about an hour looking for opium in my car, paying particular attention to my gas cooker, though his colleague spent most of the time looking through the system files on my laptop's hard drive.
Maybe it's my car - a dirty Hilux. Pickups are the vehicle of choice for lawbreakers across the country - from the Baluchis with their Toyota Stout's piled high with diesel, to Kurdish smugglers with Land Cruiser Pickups filled with Iraqi cigarettes and DVD players. And that's not to mention too many damn photos of Hiluxes in FATA and Afghanistan on the bloody BBC...
As quite a separate issue, does anyone feel that crime is seriously escalating in this country? Six years ago, when I first visited, I would have found it virtually unfeasible to have been robbed. In the last year, it seems about half the travellers (or more) I've met who've been to Iran, ahve been robbed. A (British) mate of mine had his F650 pinched!
re crime in Iran: I cannot tell whether crime is escalating, since I have been there only once. But crime definitely was an issue when I travelled Iran by end of 2006 - I met seven foreign (tourist) victims within three weeks.
I spent two months in Iran end of 2007 and never had one problem,
spoke to other travellers that i met there and everybody i talked
to said they had never felt so safe in a country...
As for having a gun pointed at you, I had more guns pointed at me
and questions asked "where you going, where have you been ???"
growing up in Belfast than ive ever had on any of me travels :biggrin:
here is a wee clip of one of my welcomes
YouTube - The Celt In Iran
I've travelled from west to east Iran november 2008. Did not encounter to much trouble. In west Iran we were stopped and checked about once a day. Going to the east this number increased. East of Bam we were escorted till the Pakistani border. We were never intimidated or searched.
I was not to unhappy with it.
Hey Dan, (Sam, from Lahore).
I never got any of that, in fact I'm hugely indebted to the police from bandar-e-geneva for finding my bike after it got nicked!
I think you just happen to have the stereotypical car for the smugglers job!
Good to hear you're well though mate, ever hook up with that korean girl?
Hey amigo--consider yourself lucky to be there. Four years ago in Istanbul, I tried for a month just to get a visa with no luck. That's my dream...to ride Iran.
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