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Hundreds of Swedes are traveling to Iran – despite advice

Hundreds of Swedes are traveling to Iran – despite advice

Since June 2022, the Swedish Foreign Ministry advises against travel to Iran due to the unstable security situation.

Foreign Minister Tobias Billström says the Foreign Ministry has very limited opportunities to help if something happens in the country

“To be clear. When the State Department advises against travel, it is a clear signal that the security situation is serious and could quickly change and become worse.”

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It is unclear exactly how many Swedes are defying the advice, but it is estimated that around 1,500 Swedes reside in Iran, and several hundred of them may be on temporary visits, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Divided opinion among Iranians regarding repatriation

Iranians' view on the situation is divided according to Iranians SVT spoke to.

Rostam Mirlashari is a famous Baloch peace activist and singer from Iran. He says Iranian Swedes who have publicly expressed their dissatisfaction with the regime – and continue to travel – make it possible for Iran to exploit other countries and carry out undemocratic actions.

One way to circumvent the sanctions is to arrest people from European and American countries and then demand money, so why do people risk going there? says Rostam Mirlashari, who is himself a critic of the Iranian regime.

Researcher Baharan Qasemi also previously expressed his dissatisfaction with the Iranian regime. She has refrained from going to Iran since the advice, but she also understands why some people travel after all.

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A family reunion would be expensive

Baharan Qasemi believes that because relatives do not receive visas and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against traveling to Iran, families are forced to meet in another country and pay for their own and their relatives’ travel costs, which she believes is unsustainable for many.

-This trip will cost more than 50,000 SEK. Who put that money away? She says: I will borrow money from my parents even though my husband and I have a good income.