Special Report

29 Countries the US Government Doesn't Want You to Go To

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11. Iran
> Advisory level: Level 4: do not travel
> Last updated: Jan. 10
> Population: 80.3 million
> GDP per capita: $5,470

Iran is one of 11 nations with a “do not travel” advisory from the U.S. government. American citizens travelling to Iran run the risk of arbitrary detention and arrest, particularly those who hold dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship. The U.S. reinstated sanctions against Iran in August and its effects are being felt throughout the nation’s economy.

The U.S. government has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 1979 and is unable to provide emergency services to American citizens in Iran. Switzerland serves as an intermediary for U.S. citizens in Iran, and provides emergency services.

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12. Iraq
> Advisory level: Level 4: do not travel
> Last updated: Aug. 17
> Population: 37.2 million
> GDP per capita: $5,420

The State Department warns Americans not to travel to Iraq over concerns of terrorism and armed conflict. Terrorist groups and militias continue to operate in the country, 15 years after the United States invaded Iraq. These terrorist groups target American citizens as well as western companies. Basra has been the site of recent unrest as five people were killed in clashes with security forces, according to Reuters.

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13. Lebanon
> Advisory level: Level 3: reconsider travel
> Last updated: Jan .10
> Population: 6.0 million
> GDP per capita: $7,970

Americans are discouraged from traveling to Lebanon — still struggling to recover from a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990 — because of terrorism, crime, and armed conflict. Threats of terrorist attacks and kidnapping make Lebanon an especially risky country for American travelers. U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Lebanon should be aware that officers from the U.S. embassy are not always available to assist them when they travel. According to the U.S. government, the Lebanese government cannot assure the safety of Americans.

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14. Libya
> Advisory level: Level 4: do not travel
> Last updated: Aug. 8
> Population: 6.3 million
> GDP per capita: $5,970

The State Department has placed a “do not travel” advisory on Libya, which has been unstable since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011. The government’s ability to control crime is limited, according to the U.S. government. Militia groups sometimes detain travelers for no reason. Extremist groups are known to target Americans. The State Department said some international and national airports are closed, and flights out of airports that are open are irregular and may be canceled without warning.

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15. Mali
> Advisory level: Level 4: do not travel
> Last updated: Aug. 13
> Population: 18 million
> GDP per capita: $780

Crime and terrorism are the main reasons why the U.S. government has assigned the western African nation of Mail a “do not travel” advisory. Multiple terrorist groups, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, operate within the landlocked nation. These groups have been known to target foreigners, claiming responsibility for a November 2015 attack on a hotel that killed 20 people, including one American. Violent crime, such as kidnapping and armed robbery, is common in northern and central Mali, and U.S. government says it is unable to provide assistance to Americans who go to those regions..

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