Who Needs A Visa To Visit Iran?
All nationalities are very welcome to visit Iran. The only exception is citizens of Israel. Due to the current political climate, Israeli citizens will be refused entry under all circumstances.
Nationals of the following countries do not require a visa to enter Iran: Turkey, Malaysia, Syria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Venezuela, Pakistan, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador. Kish island DOES NOT REQUIRE A VISA for any country including US citizens.
Nationals of the following countries can apply for a visa on arrival: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile (2 weeks), China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore (2 weeks), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam.
US citizens can apply for a visa at the Iranian Interest Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington. However, US citizens must have an MFA-approved guide to accompany them for the entire trip and must have an exact itinerary. This generally precludes crossing into Iran at any border, as your guide would have to meet you at the border. Tour guides, however, are generally friendly to Americans, understand the process, and can work with you to set up a custom itinerary for you.
To get the visa, US citizens must work in advance with an Iranian travel agency to set up a guided itinerary; only then, that travel agency may apply for a visa authorization number from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once approved, the authorization number is transmitted to the interest section. At that point, the applicant can then apply for the visa. Turnaround times can be as short as a week, but the interest section does not reliably answer emails or phone calls.