September 14, 1999
WARNING: The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer travel to Iran. Iranian President Khatami has called for a "dialogue of civilizations" and an increase of private exchanges between Iranians and Americans; some limited exchanges have taken place. There is, however, evidence that hostility to the United States remains in some segments of the Iranian population and some elements of the Iranian government. In July 1999, violent anti-government demonstrations took place in Tehran and other cities around the country. There were accusations that the U.S. was behind these demonstrations. Prior to and since that time, some groups of American travelers have encountered harassment by vigilante groups.
The U.S. government does not currently have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to American citizens in Iran. The Swiss government, acting through its embassy in Tehran, serves as protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran. The Iranian government does not recognize dual citizenship and generally does not permit the Swiss to provide protective services for American citizens who are also Iranian nationals. In addition, U.S. citizens of Iranian origin who are considered by Iran to be Iranian citizens have been detained and harassed by Iranian authorities. Former Muslims who have converted to other religions, as well as persons who encourage Muslims to convert, are subject to arrest and possible execution. The Iranian government reportedly has the names of all individuals who filed claims against Iran, and who received awards, at the Iran-U.S. claims tribunal at The Hague pursuant to the 1981 Algerian Accords. There are restrictions on both the import and the export of goods between Iran and the United States. Neither U.S. passports nor visas to the United States are issued in Tehran.