US says Americans traveling to Iran risk arrest

'Various elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States' US State Department


Reuters January 30, 2016
Former US embassy tehran. PHOTO: Kaveh Kazemi for The New York Times

WASHINGTON: US citizens traveling to Iran, particularly Iranian-Americans, risk arrest and detention in the Islamic republic, the US State Department said in a travel warning on Friday.

The notice, which largely echoes an August warning, was issued days after five Americans, including four dual Iranian nationals, were released by Iran in a prisoner swap coinciding with the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran as the implementation of a deal to curb its nuclear program began.

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The warning aims to "reiterate and highlight the risk of arrest and detention of US citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans, in Iran," the State Department said.

"Various elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States," it said, adding that Iran has "continued to harass, arrest, and detain US citizens, in particular dual nationals" since the nuclear deal was signed in July.

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In his first appearance since returning to the United States, one of the prisoners freed in the swap, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, thanked US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday for negotiating his release after 18 months in an Iranian jail.

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