Blog: Dave LeggettIran trip

Dave Leggett | 20 June 2003

Must say I'm looking forward to that trade mission trip to Iran that's getting closer. Aside from getting a rare inside look at the country's developing auto industry, Iran's culture provides a fascinating backdrop. The trip organisers have been sending me all sorts of info about the intinerary and so on. It'll be a busy week (week after next). But there are some little admin details and instructions on how to behave that I'll share here.

'Your credit's not good here, sir.' Credit cards/charge cards/debit cards are a no-no in Iran due to on-going restrictions on doing business with American banks, credit agencies. Visa, mastercard and (especially) American Express - forget it. In fact anything else, forget it. That will not do nicely. And you can also forget travellers cheques. So how do foreign business travellers get by and pay for things? Well, you can possibly guess can't you? That good old trusty sign of American economic might: the greenback! US dollars are accepted or can be changed into the local currency everywhere. You just have to take a huge bundle in with you, simply declaring the amount you have when you go in and that's fine. Just a bit ironic.

And despite 90 degree plus heat at this time of the year, no shorts, long-sleeved shirts preferable - and that's just the guys. Business suits are normal, but at least neck-ties are not. When in Rome... And never use the thumbs up sign, which is considered an insult. Better try and remember that one.

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