Americans unfazed by Iran safety issues

June 11, 2015 6:09 am 

TEHRAN, June 10 — As American diplomats face three more weeks of work on a nuclear deal with Iran, American tourists are taking in the country’s sights. The agreement, which would lift sanctions against Iran in return for the curtailing of its nuclear program, could help draw even more tourists, like Ruth and Tom Claiborne from Atlanta.

In an exclusive report, CBS News caught up with the Claibornes in Tehran, where the main danger they and other Americans face is legendary traffic congestion.

“Most of our friends said ‘Why are you going, why on earth are you going there?’ And indicated they would worry about us,” said Ruth.

But they were keen to see a country that has been largely off limits for more than three decades. Iran has some of the most spectacular sights on the planet. This year, roughly 2,000 Americans will come to see them. That is double the number that came in 2014.

“I think the average Iranian in the street is excited about the possibility of a nuclear deal with the United States,” said Tom, adding that he did not feel threatened at all in Iran.

Ebrahim Pourfaraj is counting on a deal. He runs one of the biggest private tour companies in Iran and has invested in a vast construction project that will be — by 2017 — a 57-story hotel and conference center.

“We’ll carry on in any case. But without sanctions, doing business will be certainly easier and more tourists will continue to come,” said Pourfaraj. (Financial Tribune Daily) (PNA/IRNA)



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