Question: I will be travelling to Iran from the 25th December to 2nd January. I will be planning to go to Tehran, Esfahan, Yazd and Shiraz. However, I would love to ask a few questions:
1. As a Christian, am I allow to bring a Bible to Iran?
2. I have asthma, and would need to bring in medicine. Is it ok to bring in medicine, or should I only bring them in with original label? How is the custom when going through IKA airport?
3. How about photography? I have heard of the restriction of taking photographs in Iran, and I know that it is strictly prohibited to take photos of government and military installations. How are your experience in taking photos generally in Iran?
4. Are the police generally friendly in the country? Do you get any hassles from the police during your stay there?
Answer: 1. Christianity is a protected religion; you are allowed to practice your faith, and bring your Bible (in English or your native language) to Iran. If you bring a Bible translated into Farsi or bringing in many Bibles, it would pose problems, unless you speak Farsi, as it would be assumed you are trying to proselytize, which is forbidden.
2. Try to bring asthma medicine in its original box with the original label to Iran. Don't think it would be a problem. The customs in Iran is fast.
3. You should take care not to take photos of the sensitive areas in Iran such as the military bases, governmental offices, airfields, airports and other sensitive areas where photography is forbidden. Most of the holy shrines in Iran do not allow photography. So it is better to look for sign or ask the staff before taking photos. Ask for permission before taking photos of other people, just be respectful and discreet.
4. The police in Iran are friendly and most are either just curious about you or trying to help you out. They are just trying to protect you.
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