Iran Safety for Tourists
Iran is very safe and people will be prepared to help you in any difficulty – it would be a matter of national pride. Theft is rare and even the secret police leave tourists alone. Still, it’s best for guys not to try and talk to women in the street.The water is clean and the food is safe.
The traffic is heavey in some places especially in Tehran. Your main danger is indigestion if you’re invited to stay with a family. Food never stops coming from the kitchen all day and it’s a point of honor to eat.
In general Iran is much safer than many from the West might believe. Most people are genuinely friendly and interested to know about you and your country, so leave aside your preconceptions and come with an open mind. Iran is still a relatively low-crime country, although thefts and muggings have been on the increase in recent years. Keep your wits about you, and take the usual precautions against pickpockets in crowded bazaars and buses.
Try not to travel in the southeastern area of Iran, meaning the provinces of Sistan and Baluchistan, and also to some degree Southern Khorasan province. Although Chahbahar which is close to the Pakistani border is a very calm and friendly city.
Ignore the media hype, your chances of facing anti-Western sentiment as a traveller are none. Even hardline Iranians make a clear distinction between the Western governments they distrust and individual travelers who visit their country.
There are a lot of military and other sensitive facilities in Iran. Photography near military and other government installations is strictly prohibited. Do not photograph any military object, jails, harbours, or telecommunication devices, airports or other objects and facilities which you suspect are military in nature.
Emergency services are extensive in Iran, and response times are very good compared to other local regions, 110 is the telephone number of the local Police control center, it is probably easiest to phone 110, as the local police have direct contact with other emergency services, and will probably be the only number with English speaking operators.Other Emergency Services are also available via 115 for Ambulances and 125 for the Fire and Rescue team (these numbers are frequently answered by the Ambulance or Fire crew operating from them, there is little guarantee these men will speak English). The international number 112 is available from cell phones, and will usually connect you to the Police. Iran has also "Iran Assistance" an insurance company specializing in international medical evacuation.
Iran has state-of-the-art medical facilities in all its major cities. Apart from being up to date with your usual travel vaccinations (tetanus, polio, etc) no special preparation is needed for travel to Iran.
Tap water is safe to drink in most of the country (and especially the cities), although you may find the chalkiness and taste off-putting in some areas (mainly Qom, Yazd, Hormozgan and Boushehr provinces). Bottled mineral water (āb ma'dani) is widely available. Also, on many streets and sites, public water fridges are installed to provide drinking water.
In general, Iranians are warm, friendly and generous individuals with a strong interest in foreigners and other cultures. In dealing with Iranians, the following tips relating to customs and etiquette may prove useful: