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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  • 1 Post By apapadop
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  #1  
Old 16 May 2012
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Iran: Careful when approaching Kavir desert from Semnan

I recently got contacted by a motorcycle traveller who has similar problems to the ones I describe on the bottom half of this post: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tst...lex/004281.php

That was 2009, but the same stuff is still ongoing in 2012.

In short, having left Tehran, you're heading east because you want to check out the beautiful Kavir desert. You reach Semnan and then take the "36" road because that's the quickest way to the 81 heading south, cutting through the desert via Mo'Alleman.

Bad idea. You're stopped by the police and treated like a spy suspect. If you're lucky, you just waste a few hours. If you're unlucky (or stupid, as I was), you get to sign documents you can't read, hand over some biometric information and the cops take your bike for a spin. If you have the wrong passport and are unlucky... things can turn pretty hairy.

I'd rather suggest you approach the desert via Damghan. Yes, it's a ridiculous detour, but it keeps you away from the area east of the new Semnan airport which Iranian police appear to be nervous about.

The tricky area: https://toolserver.org/~osm/locale/e...4415&layers=BT

I suggest you stay on main roads and avoid any shortcuts, no matter how well signposted, around that area.

Iran is a beautiful country, the Iranian people are fantastic (cultured, smart, hospitable) but I'll make an exception for the police. The overwhelming majority of Iranian cops I dealt with back in 2009 were absolute jerks.
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Old 16 May 2012
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Ah, i just wanted to post the same, the other traveler apapadop is speaking of is me. I just had this 8 hours police experience two days ago and it was not fun!

There must be dozens of Travelers that had the same problem, one of the guys where saying to me "i've seen many german people here, but you are the first with a second passport".

Stay away from this road, and any possible military Zone in Iran.
(The problem is on your map/gps they just look like normal roads)
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Old 2 Sep 2012
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so how do you link Tehran and Damghan?
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Old 3 Sep 2012
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Just take the 44 (the direct route).

If you trace the route I described on the map you'll notice that the no-go area has got nothing to do with Damghan.
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Old 4 Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apapadop View Post
Just take the 44 (the direct route).

If you trace the route I described on the map you'll notice that the no-go area has got nothing to do with Damghan.
So, apapadop, do you take 44 to Damghan but then still take the 81 south to Yazd?
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Old 5 Sep 2012
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Originally Posted by nicola_a View Post
So, apapadop, do you take 44 to Damghan but then still take the 81 south to Yazd?
Yup. The 81 is fair game (and a lovely ride through the desert too!) - the only tricky area back when I was there (2009) was the 36 after (i.e. SE of) Semnan's new airport, where there are a few military-operated salt mines.
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Old 7 Jun 2013
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Unfortunatly we got in trouble coming from the desert and facing Semnan from Mo'Alleman.

We didn't know anything about that forbidden zone and there was no gate or fence if you follow the road to semnan. after 80 km we were stopped at the entry gate, but we were already in the area. We were 2 days and two nights arrested and accused of espionage after the military service took over and things turned.

Luckily we could continue our journey after that incident.

So if you go there take the detour via Damghan.
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