Crimes in Iran
Everybody I met before entering Iran said they felt safe in Iran. So it surprised me to meet a number of people having had problems within only three weeks:
- Kenneth's Helmet was stolen in Yazd
- Chinese woman got mugged at knivepoint, also in Yazd
- Japanese guy got his camera robbed of him on the streets by motorbikers (Esfahan)
- Motorbiker (beddhist) got stabbed with a pen (Shiraz)
- french cyclist was robbed near at knivepoint (Shiraz)
- bags on my motorbike got searched two times, contents distributed on the ground, small things stolen (Esfahan)
Visited Iran three years ago. Generally a safe experience (except for the traffic).
In Zahedan (South-East, near PAk border) however the situation was less pleasant: sunglasses stolen under our eyes, attempt to break in into topcase of motorcycle. I think Iran is a modern country, not to be considered western orientated but still modern with woman partipating in public life and complete freedom of movement for my point of view. How different in Pakistan, where I found people more friendly, open en curious, but also more conservative in religious way. Although woman inn Pakistan are not forced by law to cover their hair, it seems more cultural to do so without official control. Far less woman in public. Give's more space on the roads, which is appreciated as soon you enter India. But by now i'm reviewing two countrys east of the one your asking for.
For Iran: as in most large city's large crowd covers bad behaviour!
I feld save and comfortable in Iran, but kept suspicious as i was a stranger in an unknowm area.
In any big city in the world, you have to be careful. Iran is generally a safe country. That being said I was befriended by a couple of guys who took me out to dinner and offered me a ride to my hotel in Tehran. I was taken to a remote location, beaten mercilessly, robbed of everything down to my watch and ring, tied up, blindfolded and left a bloody mess packed in the snow. As a US citizen, I wasn't even supposed to be there and I certainly couldn't do any banking so getting to turkey was quite a project.
From that point on, I only met friendly people who apologized profusely for the behavior of thier countrymen and took care of me. I have been back since then- rode in from Turkmenistan and out through Turkey- and had only good experiences.
But you do have to be careful.
Was in Iran 4 years ago and founded quite friendly.
Although i was attempted to be robbed between Zahedan-Mirjaveh road this impression hasnt changed.
Things you mentioned are of course very unfortunate but can happen anywhere.
These are the risks (unfortunately) which has to be considered during overland trips.
Dont loose your optimism and carry on.
I realise everyone's experience is different but my recent experience was only positive (aside from the mercenary driving).
My greatest relief at leaving Iran was not having to be force-fed any more tea.
I've been mugged, had stuff stolen, and been near-to-death food poisoned when on riding trips; but all in Australia. Got touched up by corrupt officials in southeast Asia but that was nothing compared to the legal robbery of Australian officialdom.
I found Iranian officials non-corrupt and particularly helpful (warning: the tourist cops in Esfahan are building an English idioms database. I added "dingo-ugly" and "pissing-down rain" but many they had gathered were less genteel.)
In my view, Iran was up there with the most user-friendly biker places I've been to (once you get used to dealing with the traffic and crowds of interested onlookers). In terms of shit cops and crime it's certainly got nothing on Cambodia, Lebanon, Vietnam, India etc etc...
A fine moment was outside Tabriz in minus 8 celcius in a blizzard when I was (besides dying) trying to struggle with getting more gear on - a truck pulled up alongside with only a metre or so to spare. Here am I thinking this guy's some kind of dickhead when later, as we were drinking tea in his warm sleeping cabin, he explained (in his ten words of English and well-refined sign-language) that he had seen me perishing on the side of the road and was trying to provide some shelter for me, with his trailer, from the snow-storm.
Iran...shit for some, unforgettably wonderful for me.
Hungry? Try to get robbed
While in Iran about 4 years ago, we (3 bike's and a car) camped out in the desert, near a small vilage.
We had a visitor at night who ran of with a helmet and a rain-suit. We chased him, but he disapeared in the vilage.
The next morning we asked some people if thay had seen anything, but they had all been deep asleep (apart from one that is).
20 minutes later the mayor, the chief of police and half the city-council showed up at our camp. Apologizing dozens of time, handing over gift,s (mostly fruight and other yummie things) and promising to find and punish the villan. We even got to tell what punishment he should receive.
So, Yes, there is crime. But most of the people are friendly, helpfull and honest.
So, if you see a guy running around in a rain-suit and a helmet...... (probably with his hand cut of)... you know he can not be trusted ;)
But I am sorry for your bad experiances. I hope it is the last.
I'm shocked... I spent 10 weeks in Iran/Pakistan just the last few months. Never as much as a growl my way... except the traffic I guess, that was not too cool, especially Lahore.
I feel that my previous post was slightly misunderstood. I did not mean to say that Iran is not enjoyable. Of course it is a great country to travel.
It is just that form other traveller's tales I had the impression that Iran would be a particularly safe country with no security problems whatsoever.
But after my trip there I have the impression that personal security is definitely a major issue in Iran. Not only in major cities, but everywhere, even in the countryside. It is the first country of my trip, in which I had this impression.
As a taxidriver in Shiraz put it: 50% of our people are very nice, but you have to be careful all the time.
Just take extra care, that's all.
Worth making the point. My own experience was 100% positive but you are right to mention this, I think when people only hear the kind of things that often go on these websites about places like Iran, their guard can drop, assuming everyone is freindly. But there are nasty people in every culture.
We can agree on the hospitability of all these countries (Iran, Pak, Turkey) but this shouldn't obstruct us from "being careful".
Such thing may seem everywehere in the worldover and doesn't show us if that place/country is BAD.
Crimes in Iran
I'd say the major threat in Iran is the traffic - never have I seen such insane driving (reversing at speed up motorways - it's illegal to drive against the traffic, so you just reverse!) and hideous head-on truck / bus crashes each night on the roads, but as far as security goes, the only hassle I had was the classic scam of men in a car pulling up & demanding my passport, claiming to be police - I just laughed & kept walking & after a few goes they gave up: the hotel I was staying in confired later that this was a known scam - if it's real police they wear uniforms & don't look totally dodgy! (They'd probably be a lot more polite too!)
it's a great country, with a few scammers, but if you have a bit of sense and can survive the traffic then it's good fun.
And I'm told the Theran nightlife is amongst the best in the world - I was busy working, but when I asked th egirls I was working with whether they used alcohol they said "no-one drinks at parties now - everyone takes ecstacy"...
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