Is There Still a Future For Tourists to Iran?

When Prime Minister Singh’s government decided to support the proposed nuclear energy project at Iran, many people were skeptical about India’s commitment to such a big jump in bilateral relations with its former bitter enemy. Especially, with a strong military relationship with Pakistan, India was apprehensive of jeopardizing the gains it had made in South Asia and supporting Iran in its efforts to become a nuclear power. There were other reasons as well for the Indian government’s reticence to join the Iran Russians’ bandwagon. But recently, there has been a new factor that has eroded the Indian government’s initial hesitancy to get actively involved in Iran’s nuclear weapons program: the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) decision to impose stiff economic penalties on Iran. Now, even from the point of view of the domestic audience, the decision to get involved now means more than just Iran Russians.


“I told my Russian friends that I am planning to visit Iran, and one of them said that you should visit Ufa. It is not as good as Kashkortostan, but I will make that up,” recalls Kamal Amiryak, a resident of Kashkortostan, formerly known as Iran’s “capital.” “I was surprised to hear that the Taj Mahal in Ufa is comparable to the Taj Mahal in Agra. The architectural similarities led me to compare the two cities.”

Not long ago, I had a similar experience, when I was invited to a meeting in a prominent think tank where an attendee was very complimentary about his Taj Mahal in Ufa. I was equally impressed by the building and its gardens. “There’s nothing like the Taj Mahal in Ufa,” I concluded. Of course, I didn’t say anything to the man about the beautiful white building with green grass in Kashkortostan Hotel; I merely repeated what another guest had told me.

The next time I visited Iran, I was told that “unlimited free agent” is someone who is not restricted by anyone when it comes to signing a contract. As a matter of fact, there are no restrictions whatsoever, on the part of the free agent. In other words, anyone can sign anytime they want. So, in theory, anyone can be a “unrestricted free agent” in Ufa.

However, I would submit to you that if you want to be a restricted free agent in Ufa, you better be ready to shell out a lot of dough. Nobody said that going to the World Cup in Iran would be easy. My acquaintance was referring to the fact that football, like all other professional sports, requires lots of money to be invested in order to make it successful. And don’t forget, even while you are enjoying your vacation in Iran, the government is not letting you leave the country. Which means that anybody who is considered a “restricted free agent” in Ufa during the regular season is somebody who really has to come up with the cash in order to stay in Iran.

But, what can you do? There are some things that you can do in order to circumvent the ban on foreigners entering the country during the season. For instance, if you have contacts in Iran Football Association (uary Sport TV channel) and you want to purchase season tickets, then you could try to get them before the ban comes into effect. Otherwise, you would have to look for the same tickets online after the ban comes into effect. You might also consider contacting the organizing committee and asking them for information on how you can purchase tickets.