Anthony Bourdain's Most Dangerous Destinations: Iran

Despite Iran’s dangerous reputation — especially for American travelers — Bourdain was floored by the country

Anthony Bourdain visited Iran in June 2014.

Iran Iran has long been considered a dangerous locale, and a country with which the United States has long had a difficult and complicated relationship — and it’s also a place Bourdain had been trying to film in for a while.

He Finally received approval from the Iranian government and headed to Tehran this past June. Despite Iran’s dangerous reputation — especially for American travelers — Bourdain was floored by the country, saying it was “extraordinary, heartbreaking, confusing, inspiring, and very, very different than the Iran I had expected.” And though there was a “Death to America!” sign that loomed high in the city, Bourdain met friendly locals who welcomed him to the country, people who were outgoing, grateful that an American wanted to explore the country, and who offered hospitality and kindness that “to a degree that we really experience very, very few places — and I'm talking Western Europe and allied nations.” Bourdain was blown away by his Iranian visit, yet there were stark realities of the situation that served as a reminder of where he was filming, like the fact that the secret police were camped out a few doors from Bourdain’s room, or that social media were forbidden. Additionally, the Washington Post’s correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, were arrested and detained after appearing on his show for reasons that were not clear.

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