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Government updates travel advice for Iran

The Government has updated travel warnings for Iran and is urging New Zealanders currently in that country to depart.

“The new advice for Iran reiterates the existing “Do Not Travel” warning, and adds that due to the potential for violent civil unrest, the risk of arrest or detention and the volatile security situation in the region, the risk to safety in Iran is significant,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has warned against travel to Iran since early 2020. New Zealanders currently in Iran are advised to leave. Protests are continuing throughout the country, and there has been an increased number of foreign nationals arrested.

“New Zealanders in Iran are advised to avoid all demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings as they could turn violent with little warning. New Zealanders in Iran should stay away from any areas where police or security forces are deployed as their presence alone could be misinterpreted.

“The new advisory warns New Zealanders of the risk of arbitrary arrest or detention. The risk may be higher if they undertake activities that could attract the attention of local authorities. For dual New Zealand/Iranian nationals this risk may be even greater.

“In all cases of arbitrary arrest or detention in Iran, the ability of the Government to provide consular assistance through the Embassy and other official channels is extremely limited. It’s important that people considering going to Iran think seriously about these risks and heed the travel advice.

“New Zealand continues to call for an independent and credible investigation into the tragic death of Mahsa Amini. We continue to call for restraint by authorities in responding to the demonstrations, and for greater protection of women’s rights and freedom of expression.

“At the government’s request, MFAT officials also called in the Iranian Ambassador to convey these concerns directly to the Iranian government in September. We also consistently raise our concerns over human rights issues in international forums, as recently as March 2022 at a UN session in Geneva,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

The full updated travel advisory for Iran can be found on the SafeTravel website here: Iran | SafeTravel. All New Zealanders who are travelling or living overseas are strongly encouraged to register their details on the SafeTravel website.

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