Iran: Military service, including recruitment age, length of service, reasons for exemption, the possibility of performing a replacement service and the treatment of people who refuse military service by authorities; whether there are sanctions against conscientious objectors

My husband who was a refugee from Iran returned and bought himself out of military duty in order to return and reinstate his Iranian citizenship. I recall he paid about $2,500; the article states the fee as $4,315.  I have no way of confirming the exact amount he paid. Click here to learn more or read an excerpt below.


[t]he consular officers of the US embassy in Ankara noted that after the post-election political turmoil in the summer of 2009 it appears as if the Iranian Government has eased the requirements to allow people to leave the country in the sense that a young man wishing to leave the country before having completed his military service is able to deposit a bond of 12,000 USD and be allowed travel abroad for study. If the person does not return to Iran, the amount is taken by the authorities. It was commented that young dissatisfied individuals could be perceived as a potential source of unrest by the authorities. It was considered that by allowing them to leave, the authorities were thereby getting rid of dissent. (Denmark Feb. 2013, 70)

The undated website of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in The Hague, states that

[a]ccording to the most recent resolutions, foreign resident draftees who have left the country before the date 29/12/1382 [19 March 2004 ( 28 Mar. 2014a)], and whom after entering their 13 years of age, have been living abroad for a minimum of 2 years (as substantiated through presentation of relevant exit and entry stamps as placed in the applicant’s passport by Iranian border guards and officials), are eligible for buying themselves out of Military Duty and thereby obtaining an Exemption card, upon paying the sum of 100,000,000 Rials [$4315 CAD (XE 27 Mar. 2014)]. (Regardless of academic documents, or period of absence from service).

Thus far, this regulation is expected to be in effect up to 04/11/1390 [24 January 2012 ( 28 Mar. 2014b)]. (Iran n.d.a)

Al-Monitor reports that in December 2013, General Kamali stated that “[b]ecause of its discriminatory nature, paying off military service was never desired by the armed forces, and that option has been closed” (19 Dec. 2013). General Kamali reportedly added that “for those who live outside of the country, the option of paying off military service had been cancelled earlier this year. For those who live in the country, paying to avoid military service has not always been offered” (Al-Monitor 19 Dec. 2013). Further information about payment in lieu of compulsory military service could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

The IHRDC indicates that “many young males of military age” attempt to avoid military service through “exemptions or by informal and illegal means through monetary bribes to officials” (7 Nov. 2014). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Sources report that when an exemption is obtained, the person is issued a military exemption card, which lists the reason for the exemption (Human Rights Watch Dec. 2010, 26; BBC 6 Jan. 2010; IHRDC 7 Nov. 2013).



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