People, Travel

UK Revokes Iran Travel Advisory

UK Revokes Iran Travel AdvisoryUK Revokes Iran Travel Advisory

Britain revoked an official warning against all but essential travel to Iran on Saturday, citing “decreased hostility” in the wake of a landmark nuclear deal.

Almost all of Iran is now marked “green” in the government’s foreign travel advice, though border areas with Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan remain “red”, a warning against all travel there, AFP reports.

In a statement, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said British nationals should still carefully consider the risks of travelling to Iran, but that the situation had changed under the government of President Hassan Rouhani.

“Our policy is to recommend against travel to an area when we judge that the risk is unacceptably high,” Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement.

“We consider that continues to be the case for specific areas of Iran, notably along Iran’s borders with Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“But we believe that in other areas of Iran the risk to British nationals has changed, in part due to decreasing hostility under President Rouhani’s government.”

Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany reached a long-elusive agreement this month to limit Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for lifting sanctions that crippled the country’s economy.

Iran’s vice president for tourism, Masoud Soltanifar, said at the time: “No other industry in Iran will see a bigger boost than tourism as a result of this deal. The news about the nuclear agreement and lifting of economic sanctions has delighted our tourism industry.”

The British government has said it hopes to reopen its embassy in Tehran—closed since 2011—by the end of this year.

“There is a very clear will to [reopen the embassy] and I will be working directly with my Iranian counterpart to ensure that we clear away those obstacles over the next few months,” Hammond said.

Last week, The Guardian reported that UK travel agents expressed hope that the FCO would lift the travel warning on Iran as it would allow travel agencies to offer their clients standard travel insurance.