International Parental Child Abduction

English

Country Information

Iran

Iran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Do not travel to Iran due to the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens.

Do not travel to Iran due to the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens.

There is a very high risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens in Iran, particularly U.S.-Iranian dual nationals.  

Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison U.S. citizens, including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security. U.S.-Iranian dual nationals are particularly susceptible to arrest for these charges. Consular access to detained U.S. citizens is often denied.

The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with Iran. The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iran. Switzerland serves as the protecting power for U.S. citizens in Iran, providing limited emergency services. The Iranian government routinely delays or denies Swiss officials access to detained U.S. citizens. 

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Iran, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the Country Information page

If you decide to travel to Iran:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Review your personal security plan.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
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Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

Embassy of Switzerland – Foreign Interests Section

Pasdaran, Shahid Mousavi St. (Golestan 5th)
Corner of Paydarfard St., No. 55, Pasdaran Avenue
Tehran, Iran
Telephone:
(98) (21) 2254-2178 and (98) (21) 2256-5273
Emegency Telephone: (41) (58) 465-3333
Fax: (98) (21) 2258-0432
Email: 
Website: www.eda.admin.ch/tehranfi
Virtual Embassy Tehran

All consular services require prior appointments which can be made by phone. The Foreign Interests Section can be reached by phone Sunday through Thursday between 7:45 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

The Interests Section does not issue U.S. visas or accept visa applications. The Foreign Interests Section provides limited consular services to U.S. citizens in Tehran including:

  • Registering U.S. citizens
  • Responding to inquiries concerning the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. citizens in Iran
  • Rendering assistance in times of distress or physical danger
  • Providing U.S. citizens with passport and Social Security card applications and other citizenship forms for processing at the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland
  • Performing notarial services
  • Taking provisional custody of the personal effects of deceased U.S. citizens
General Information

For information concerning travel to Iran, including the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see Country Specific Information for Iran. 

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

Hague Abduction Convention

Iran is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Iran and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Iran and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone: 1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 1-202-485-6221
Website:  travel.state.gov
Email: MiddleEastIPCA@state.gov

Parental child abduction is not a crime in Iran. Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in Iran to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Iran and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children's Issues may be able to provide limited assistance to parents seeking access to children in Iran who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children's Issues nor consular officials at U.S. Embassies or Consulates are authorized to provide legal advice.

For information about retaining an attorney in Iran, parents should contact the Foreign Interests Section of the Embassy of Switzerland in Tehran.  Contact information for the embassy can be found below.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: May 8, 2018

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Embassy of Switzerland
Pasdaran, Shahid Mousavi St.(Golestan 5th)
Corner of Paydarfard St., No. 55
Tehran, Iran
Telephone
(98) (21) 2254-2178
(98) (21) 2256-5273
Emergency
(41) (58) 465-3333
Fax
(98) (21) 2258-0432
Iran Map