Q – We are booked on a tour that will concentrate on the history of Persia (Iran). Yesterday, my local newspaper announced that several women have been attached by having acid thrown in their face for not dressing in the proper Islamic fundamentalist manner. The trip is in three weeks and we are seriously thinking of cancelling. What does your staff think we should do? Appreciate any help with this.
A – Clearly travel to Iran has its inherent risks. Eight women were harmed in the acid attacks, 1 of them died and several were blinded. They were all in or driving cars and had stopped to make a phone call or drop a friend off and two men came by on a motorcycle and threw the acid.
If it was us, we would still go… but we would stay with the group and keep our wits about us. The risk in and around hotels which cater to westerners and tourist sites are not being targeted. They will be traveling by bus, so the MO of the attackers would not be possible – plus authorities believe they have the assailants in custody.
The US and Australia have not posted travel warnings other than to say stay away from the borders with Afghanistan and Iraq. The UK’s language is stronger, but refers more to UK nationals being arrested in Iran for political reasons.
Likely, these resent attacks are the result of a new piece of legislation coming down on morality police/militias as the new regime tries to move in a more secular direction.
But please note our fundamental (oops sorry – perhaps the wrong term) feeling that if you are truly fearful about a trip you should cancel it immediately. A vacation ought to be something you look forward to, not a game of Survivor.