Foreign journalists should take note of the following:
• All international air traffic has been diverted to Imam Khomeini Airport since November 2007 and Mehrabad Airport in Tehran is now only used for domestic flights. Imam Khomeini Airport is situated 35Km southwest of the capital. The check in procedure is rather time taking, therefore it is highly recommended to arrive at the airport at least two hours in advance of your departure time.
• Two 4 and 5 stars luxurious hotels named Axis are available for foreign gusts arriving at Iran.
• Make sure your visa is still valid when leaving the country or else you will be fined Rls.300,000 (aprox.$10)
• There is no bus service available to take passengers to Tehran at the airport, but enough airport taxi is usually available outside the in front of the main entrance of the main building. Commuting train service between Tehran and the airport is due to be launched in near future. Use only the registered airport taxis and avoid casual ones.
• It is forbidden to bring alcohol and narcotics into the country and Iranians and foreigners alike are not allowed to consume any of these substances while in Iran.
• Every individual leaving Iran is allowed to take a maximum of 20 SQ.M of Persian carpet with them each year free of export tax.
• Cash is the usual method of payment in Iran. International credit cards and traveler checks are not accepted. United States Dollar and the Euro are the main foreign currencies exchanged in Iran while all other currencies are exchangeable too. Banks and exchange bureaus usually have the same rate. Having or spending Dollars or any other currency is not illegal but you are recommended not to exchange on the street and use only the many existing licensed Exchanges. List of authorized money exchange is available at:
http://www.cbi.ir/simplelist/1541.aspx
• Security and Law Enforcement forces treat Iranian citizens and foreigners as well with respect. They are duty bound to wear police uniform and present their ID card when approaching Iranian or foreign nationals.
• Reporters and news cures submit pictures, photographs and reports prepared during their activities in Iran only to their affiliated media organization which has applied for their visa and providing them or any other technical assistance to media organizations other than the one stated in the Visa application form is professional and morally unethical.
• Valid international driving license is needed to drive in Iran.
• Taking pictures or filming military installations and sensitive premises requires prior coordination and written permission from the concerned authorities.
• Foreign Media Department does not provide further assistance than visa formalities and necessary correspondence and coordination with law enforcement authorities nonresident reporters should refer to service providing institutions listed at Website of Foreign Media Department for services such as coordination of programs, accommodation facilities, interviews and translation.
• Service providing institutions are required to assist foreign journalist based on the instructions issued by Foreign Media Department and in case of any complaint about their services, they should inform the said department
• Traveling to border areas with Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan must be coordinated with the foreign Media Dept., in order to make the necessary arrangements with concerned authorities.
• Iran is an Islamic country and therefore women must respect and comply with the cultural and religious values and dress codes. The color of the outfits does not matter. Pay more attention to clothing while visiting religious and cultural sites such as mosques and Bazaars.
• Dating between opposite sex is not allowed before marriage and can be punishable by law. Renting a room at hotels around the country would require a marriage certificate for couples, preferably translated to Persian.
• Eating and drinking in public is strictly forbidden before the sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.
• Only take registered taxis and avoid hiring a private car unless it is from a registered taxi operator. Colors of taxis in Tehran are usually yellow but there are also other operators with green taxis.
• If your documents or belongings are lost or stolen, you must inform the Police immediately and obtain the police report which would enable you to follow the case at a later stage.
• The quality of medical care in Iran is quite high and large number of hospitals and clinics are available providing all sorts of medical treatments.
• The electricity outlet in the country is 220 volts.
• Persian is the spoken language in Iran but there are different regional dialects and accents. A considerable percentage of people have some knowledge of English language but overall you are recommended to have a guide or a dictionary with you at all times.
• Nonresident journalist can purchase SIM cards from client offices of Mobile phone service providers such as Irancell.
• All visa applicants are kindly requested to visit the Website of Foreign Media Department and read the recommendations before your departure and inform the said department of your possible suggestions and complaints about this department or service providing institutions during or after your visit. You can contact us by phone No. 021- 88757845 or our email address: f.correspondents@farhangmail.gov.ir