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nickelgoat



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 166
Location: Where in the world is nickelgoat?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:31 pm    Post subject: ..... Reply with quote

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Last edited by nickelgoat on Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 199

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes a retired FBI agent that has gone missing for a number years, as an example of someone who has visited there!
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 244

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:45 am    Post subject: Americans? Reply with quote

Americans can go to Kish. It's convenient for any American with a partner who must do a visa run, but then so is Oman.
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 199

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say not very safe!!

http://www.helpboblevinson.com/

Robert Levinson Photos Show Iran Holding Former FBI Agent Hostage Since 2007, U.S. Officials Say

AP | By ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO
WASHINGTON (AP) ó Two years after a hostage video and photographs of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson raised the possibility that the missing American was being held by terrorists, U.S. officials now see the government of Iran behind the images, intelligence officials told The Associated Press.

Levinson, a private investigator, disappeared in 2007 on the Iranian island of Kish. The Iranian government has repeatedly denied knowing anything about his disappearance, and the disturbing video and photos that Levinsonís family received in late 2010 and early 2011 seemed to give credence to the idea.

The extraordinary photos ó showing Levinsonís hair wild and gray, his beard long and unkempt ó are being seen for the first time publicly after the family provided copies to the AP. The video has been previously released.

In response to Iranís repeated denials, and amid secret conversations with Iranís government, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement in March 2011 that Levinson was being held somewhere in South Asia. The implication was that Levinson might be in the hands of terrorist group or criminal organization somewhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

The statement was a goodwill gesture to Iran, one that the U.S. hoped would prod Tehran to help bring him home.

But nothing happened.

Two years later, with the investigation stalled, the consensus now among some U.S. officials involved in the case is that despite years of denials, Iranís intelligence service was almost certainly behind the 54-second video and five photographs of Levinson that were emailed anonymously to his family. The tradecraft used to send those items was too good, indicating professional spies were behind them, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they werenít authorized to talk publicly. While everything dealing with Iran is murky, their conclusion is based on the U.S. governmentís best intelligence analysis.

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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16186
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I am neither a detective nor FBI, the disappearance of this fellow would be irrelevant to my travel decisions. I suspect that he asked too many questions of the wrong type to the wrong people.

VS
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 199

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I not only have a TESOL background but an IR Master's as well and my focus is on Central Asia and the Middle East.

Being a detective or FBI is irrelevant, it comes down to if the person is not Iranian and whether they are Western. Human trafficking is problematic throughout the Middle East, kidnappings for ransom are prevalent in Iran whether state sponsored or not, and the fact if a Westerner goes to a hardline Islamic Republic, such as Iran, there can be problems.

Many Westerners have been kidnapped already and placed upon "show trials" in order to blackmail Western governments in relation to the sanctions. The sanctions just got much worse, so you think there won't be implications for Westerners? Iran is far from stable, the government is hostile to most people who are not Shia and paranoid of them as well, and find no issue in giving death sentences, long prison terms, and torturing Western inmates.

http://www.charismanews.com/world/37996-tortured-american-pastor-sentenced-to-eight-years-in-iranian-prison

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/06/us-hikers-tortured-in-iran-former-fellow-inmate-reveals/240244/
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helenl



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 1185

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a purely anecdotal perspective, I have known many people - say about 2 dozen (US, Canadian, UK, Australian, etc.) to visit Kish for curiousity and visa runs.

They have all come back in the 12 years I've been here.

The stories cited in the previous post include a possible prosletyzer (they get arrested and expelled in UAE and Qatar too), hikers who crossed international boundaries illegally (whether they knew it or not is usually not relevant to authorities anywhere - try crossing to Saudi from UAE or Qatar without going through a border crossing) and an ex FBI agent on an investigation without notifying local authorities.

These 3 cases may have been perfectly innocent and innocuous - but they picked a poor corner of the world to make even that type of mistake.
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 199

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It isn't just these people and stories. These are just brief examples and Iran detains thousands yearly, not just a few. 14 journalists were arrested, detained, and tortured just the kast couple of months. Many people, of Iranian descent, visit their family members only to be arrested, tortured, and detained. Like I said if you work in the diplomacy sector you see the thousands of cases which occur but don't garner media attention.

So it isn't just trouble makers and anyone going is a potential victim.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16186
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know many teachers (Americans, Canadians, Brits, Aussies) who have visited Iran in the last few years and every single one of them absolutely loved it. The people were friendly, generous, and kind. I wouldn't tell anyone NOT to visit Iran if they could get the visa. I would go in a minute if I was nearby and could easily get a visa.

Naturally if you are a spy, FBI agent, closet missionary, journalist, have Iranian family ties, or plan to cross any borders illegally, it is best to stay away. For all of the rest of us, I see zero problem.

VS
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