After the 1978-79 revolution in Iran, the government made public healthcare a top priority. Public clinics offer low cost basic care. General and specialty hospitals that provide intensive care are financed and ran through the Ministry of Health. In most cities, higher income families use private clinics and hospitals. Specialized medical facilities are mainly found in high populated urban areas. Rural and low income families have good access to primary care physicians at clinics located throughout different villages. (Federal Research Division, 2008). The literacy rate of adults was marked at 85% in 2008. Public primary to higher education schools are available for free for Iranian citizens. There are also numerous private schools located in Iran. Private schools are primarily for wealthier families because they are fairly expensive (Federal Research Division, 2008). Iran is made up of numerous ethnic groups. “The main ethnic groups in Iran are Persians (65 percent), Azerbaijani Turks (16 percent), Kurds (7 percent), Lurs (6 percent), Arabs (2 percent), Baluchis (2 percent), Turkmens (1 percent), Qashqai (1 percent), and non-Persian, non-Turkic groups such as Armenians, Assyrians, and Georgians (less than 1 percent)” (Federal Research Division, 2008). Approximately 65 percent of Iran speaks Persian. The remaining 35 percent is made up of Azeri Turkish and Turkic dialects, Kurdish, Luri, Arabic, and Baluchi. The Iranian Constitution declares that Shia Islam is the official religion of Iran. Approximately eight percent of Iran is made up of Sunni Muslims. Regardless of religion, Iranian’s are required to practice Islamic dress codes and gender segregation in public. Government ministries do not allow citizens that practice minority religions to serve in senior administrative positions (Federal Research Division, 2008).
Since HUMINT operations would involve contact with Iranians, HUMINT collectors would be exposed to foreign illness. Also, since Iran is still developing their public healthcare, certain sources in different areas may have difficulty paying medical care, or may not have access to specific or special types of medical care. This could complicate source suitability and susceptibility. Even though public schooling is free and available in most areas there is still a chance of having to operate in an area where schooling is not available. Illiteracy and lack of knowledge can always complicate spotting and assessing for potential sources. Iran has a wide variety of ethnicities. Most ethnicities and religious groups stick together in different areas. Since HUMINT collectors will be interacting with different types of ethnicities and religions from Iran, cultural misunderstandings could offend potential sources and damage rapport and future operations.
HUMINT collectors need to receive appropriate immunizations prior to departure to operating area. This will help mitigate HUMINT collectors getting sick....