Question: I am planning a trip to Iran, and if my visa comes through, I will be leaving the US on Dec. 26th. From the research I've done, people I've spoken to, I don't believe I should have any issues, but I just wanted some opinions on whether or not it is a good time to visit. Pardon my ignorance, I understand the media blows things out of proportion, and I would be in the country legally, but I would hate to get caught up in a tough situation.
Answer: What is depicted on the media in west is not the reality but a narrow focus on the negative points due to the political controversies. It is better to search about the safety in Iran for the travelers and I am sure you will not find enough evidences of problems occurring for the tourists in Iran. The people are helpful and civilized and so keen to the tourists.
Plenty of solo travelers both men and women enter Iran each day and travel in the country hassle-free. But as an American visitor of Iran, you should take part in a tour and be accompanied by a tour guide to travel in Iran.
The visa reference number for the Americans takes about 30-45 days to be secured from the MFA. In the visa application form the MFA should be informed about the hotels and itinerary in Iran. After having the reference number, the visa can be collected in two working days by direct referral or in one working week by posting the docs to the Iran embassy.
As a suggest tour for the Americans you can select one of these: http://www.uppersia.com/Iran-tours