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Iran World Heritage

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Author Solivagant
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#16 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 05:39 | Edited by: Solivagant 
clyde:
does this apply only to UK nationals or is it a nicety offered by the US to each and all?

To EACH AND ALL . It came about in December as a result of the " Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015". (I just love the use of the word "Improvement" - who can argue with "improvement"?? They could no doubt "improve" things still further by not allowing ANYONE in! Heck - DT is on his way to doing that anyway isn't he!).

The Guardian commented "By an overwhelming bipartisan majority, the House of Representatives passed legislation intended to strengthen the visa waiver program in the aftermath of attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. The legislation, which was approved by a vote of 407-19, would prevent any foreign national who has visited Iraq, Iran, Syria or the Sudan in the past five years from entering the US without a visa."

See this up-to-date statement from the official US Government Web site on the VWP (= Visa Waiver Program) -
"Under the Act, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP:
Nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iraq, Syria, or countries listed under specified designation lists (currently including Iran and Sudan) at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions)."

Link - http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/visa-waiver-program/visa-waiver-prog ram-improvement-and-terrorist-travel-prevention-act-faq

Note the "dishonesty" in the use of the Paris AND San Bernardino killings as the "reasons" for the "improvement". The latter were carried out by US citizens of Pakistani descent who, as far as is known, had NEVER been to any of the 4 countries involved in this tightening of the rules (Though both HAD been to, and she had lived in, Saudi Arabia). And what do they do - make life difficult for a couple of honest and generally pro-American British travellers (among many others)!!!

Author elsslots
Admin
#17 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 10:23 
Solivagant:
I will never again be allowed in on Visa Waiver - which, in effect, means "never again EVER"!!!

I do believe it's not that harsh: you will not be able to use the Visa Waiver/ ESTA process, but you can still apply for a 'normal' tourist visa.

Here's a post of a Dutch person who recently went to Iran on a tour, and got a visa at the American consulate in Amsterdam without much ado:
http://forum.allesamerika.com/viewtopic.php?t=63192

Author Solivagant
Registered
#18 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 10:29 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
I do believe it's not that harsh: you will not be able to use the Visa Waiver/ ESTA process, but you can still apply for a 'normal' tourist visa.

Yes - as I said, not on Visa Waiver - but getting a "normal" tourist visa at the US embassy is not exactly "without much ado" and seems pretty "harsh" to me now that Tourist visas are not issued without an interview (as used to be the case)!! I know of NO OTHER country which will require me to turn up at the embassy and be interviewed in order to get a tourist visa ( "How to apply for US Tourist visa" on the US's UK web site - "Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to apply for a visa in person through a pre-arranged interview. "). That could cost me an expensive rail fare (250 miles each way) and an overnight near London. Oh - and plus $160 fees! And of course one can't even "transit" the US without either VW or a visa so trips to Latin America or the Pacific can't take a US routing!
It was easier to get a visa for the DPRK!!! and, apart from the length of time taken, for Iran.

Author meltwaterfalls
Registered
#19 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 10:43 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Yikes, I didn't realise you had to go in person to the embassy for a US visa! That would be awkward for me, and I only work around the corner.

Not for the first time it seems that some ill thought out political posturing will put the breaks on my travel plans.

==Is it worth (possible to) migrating these Iranian comments over to the current Iran travels thread?==

Author elsslots
Admin
#20 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 12:53 
meltwaterfalls:
==Is it worth (possible to) migrating these Iranian comments over to the current Iran travels thread?==

Done!

Author elsslots
Admin
#21 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 11:59 
I'm going through all the available nomination files in preparation for my trip, and start to notice a trend of flowery Epic Subtitles given to the sites:

- Dome of Soltaniyeh; the pasture which became the capital city of the empire.
- Takht-e-Soleyman: Fire temple of Knights
- Armenian Monastic Ensembles: Unique emblems from the fringe of its heartland

Author Solivagant
Registered
#22 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 12:08 
elsslots:
a trend of flowery Epic Subtitles given to the sites:

Yes I had noted that too - but , unlike in some other cases as per our Connection , as far as I can see these titles as used in the nomination documents have NOT been carried forward to any official titles??

Author elsslots
Admin
#23 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 12:20 
Solivagant:
NOT been carried forward to any official titles??

They haven't indeed.

Author pikkle
Registered
#24 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 16:44 | Edited by: pikkle 
Fire Temple of Knights sounds pretty bad-ass. They should keep that in.

Author elsslots
Admin
#25 | Posted: 16 Apr 2016 06:53 | Edited by: elsslots 
For those who are preparing a visit to Golestan Palace: Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (king of Persia & the man behind the design of Golestan Palace) has written a travelogue about his visit to Europe in 1873. It was translated in English and many other languages. A copy can be found here: https://ia902205.us.archive.org/11/items/diaryofhmshahofp00nasiuoft/diaryofhmshahofp0 0nasiuoft.pdf

I found it a very pleasant read, almost like a 19th century travel blog! He especially admires the technological advancements in Europe, but also has an eye for lions etc in zoo's. His journey was somewhat of a Grand Tour, via Russia, Prussia, Belgium, England, France, Italy back to Turkey. He also visited numerous sites that now are WHS (I've made a new Connection for it), plus a cute near-miss of Kew ("It is a very large garden, but we did not go inside.").

Several of his observations could have been made by any curious traveller from the Orient, but he was really travelling among the highest aristocrats, as proved by this fragment:
"We have to go to Windsor Castle, the residence of Her Most Exalted Majesty Victoria, Sovereign of England, which is one hour's journey by rail."

Author barabanov
Registered
#26 | Posted: 16 Apr 2016 14:08 
We are planning to go to Iran with my brother from 30 April till 15 May. The target is to tick off aproximately 15-16 sites, starting from Tehran towards Ardabil/Tebriz then going south to Shiraz and then back to Tehran. We are arranging through tour agency car with a driver and all hotels. The guide was quoted at around 900-1000 US Dollars, so we decided to use LP and local guides, if necessary, in big cities.
Some useful tips that I came across with when analyzing forums:
1) recently exchange rates in banks and in unofficial change offices do not have significant difference as in the past but as a general rule "unofficial" rates are still better. In Tehran airport the best bank rate is in the beareau on th SECOND FLOOR at the departure level. In big cities unofficial change offices are called "sarafis", they are concentrated around hotels and tourist areas, any taxist or reception would help. They are quite safe based on reviews.
2) the prices are usually quoted in tumans. Tuman is 10,000 rials, so it's necessary to be careful when discussing prices.
3) most hotels tend to keep passports with them. So it would be wise to make a copy of passport to have it when walking in the city together with hotel card.
4) good way to have internet is to take second phone; purchase local sim (~6 usd); than wait 30 mins until it activates (not immediately) and then purchase internet (3 gigs ~ 4 usd). Wi-fi in the hotels is usually so poor, that it would be better to distribute wi-fi from the phone.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#27 | Posted: 16 Apr 2016 22:30 | Edited by: Solivagant 
barabanov:
so we decided to use LP and local guides, if necessary, in big cities.

A minor plannng point
Beware LP quoted prices. We have 6th edition.
Eg LP entrance to Soltaniye = $1
Actual price for foreigners 200000 IR = c$ US 5. (@ c 34600 = $1)

Author pikkle
Registered
#28 | Posted: 16 Apr 2016 23:52 
As an American, I am really sickened by the so-called "Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015." Just look at that name and then the vote in the House. The disingenuous name leads all the cowards who don't want to lose their seat in the next election because of attack ads that spew "VOTED AGAINST TERRORIST TRAVEL PREVENTION!!!!!" to vote for this. 407-19. Wow.

Also the Republican Party has been trying for years to destroy the VWP - despite the fact that they are supposedly the "capitalist" party. Won't this make it more difficult for people who do important business in these countries to enter, perhaps even preventing them altogether? And what terrorist ever admits to a bureaucrat at a consulate that he's a terrorist? Furthermore, it hurts tourism - more business lost.

We already have the most annoying customs/immigration in the West, even for US citizens - meanwhile European countries let us strut right in. It'll be wonderful when there's blowback and Americans are required to interview at their local consulates to enter EU nations.

Sorry for the rant, but the US legislature is just a clownshow. Worse, it has paralyzed a nation.

Author elsslots
Admin
#29 | Posted: 22 Apr 2016 13:49 
elsslots:
I'm going through all the available nomination files in preparation for my trip, and start to notice a trend of flowery Epic Subtitles given to the sites:- Dome of Soltaniyeh; the pasture which became the capital city of the empire.- Takht-e-Soleyman: Fire temple of Knights- Armenian Monastic Ensembles: Unique emblems from the fringe of its heartland

Another nice on: Maymand - Embraced in the Earth

Author clyde
Registered
#30 | Posted: 13 May 2016 15:10 
Well done and a big thank you to Solivagant for the recent reviews on Iran's tentative and listed WHS. I really enjoyed reading the in-depth reviews (as always :)) especially the review on Shushtar.

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