Arrest, Imprisonment, Kidnaping, Torture and Execution Risk

A company that does business in Iran exposes its staff  to a high risk of harassment, arrest, prosecution, and incarceration without due process of law, without the right to legal counsel, and without an effective and independent judicial system to protect basic legal rights.  

Both foreigners and local are  not safe from arbitrary arrest, incarceration, and worse. Individuals born in Iran or who are (or were) Iranian citizens are particularly at risk of arrest, prosecution, imprisonment, torture, and even capital execution without due process of law.  

On January 14, 2023, Iran executed British-Iranian dual citizen Alireza Akbari, which Prime Minister Sunak referred to as a “callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime.” Iran continues to detain more than 20 foreign nationals in for purposes of “hostage diplomacy,” designed to extract maximum political and economic concessions from Western nations.

Unsurprisingly, Iranian expatriates have remained reticent to return to their home country, even despite lucrative executive job offers from Western firms during the early phase of the JCPOA. Reuters noted at the time “problems such as red tape, a murky business culture, security issues, pollution and a lack of international schools for their children. They are also concerned about their rights and protections under the Islamic Republic’s judicial system.”

Iranians are not safe from the clutches of Islamic Republic agents even outside Iran, however, as demonstrated by the attempted abduction of dissident and human rights activist Masih Alinejad from her home in Brooklyn, New York.