Currently, US citizens are somewhat banned from going to Iran. Even while US citizens are not banned, it is still a generally dangerous place to go as a US citizen. Switzerland, however, does have good consular relations with Iran and their citizens are not banned.

This leads to my question: if (theoretically of course) a US and Swiss dual-citizen who is of no persian descent wants to travel to a country such as Iran strictly as a tourist, can he/she go with that Swiss passport legally, and can he/she remain safe in that country? Would Iran be able to figure out that you are a US citizen?

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    Banned by the US or banned by Iran? – gerrit Aug 17 '17 at 9:44
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    What is ‘safe’? It can mean a lot of things. Please elaborate. Depending on what you mean by safe, this question could be opinion-based or not. I’m sure, however, that there is a definite legal answer to the first part (can they go to Iran legally). – Jan Aug 17 '17 at 9:58
  • legally you can go there as long as you don't take/show/tell about your US passport because what I know is Iran doesn't allow US citizens to enter. But being safe? You need to tell what factors you've got in mind – Newton Aug 17 '17 at 11:18
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    If US citizens are not allowed in Iran (I'm not sure that's the case), then you are a US citizen whether or not you enter on your US passport, and you are not allowed to enter. You could be detained if you are discovered to be a US citizen, even if you entered as a Swiss one. You'd have to renounce your US citizenship to work around this, which is permanent. If US citizens are not allowed to go to Iran, then Iran won't care but the US might, and again, you are a US citizen whether or not you use your US passport to enter. – Jim MacKenzie Aug 17 '17 at 15:58
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    @Newton Iran doesn't allow US citizens to enter? Really? Where is your information from?! – Meysam Aug 17 '17 at 21:33

In answer the general question in the title:
No, it is illegal. Yes, it is possible.

If a country as a law forbidding another one's citizens from entering, and you're a citizen of the forbidden country, you're not allowed to enter. It doesn't matter what passport you present when entering.

Of course, when you enter a country they look at your passport, and base their decision on what they see. If you have a passport from a "good" country, you'll be admitted.

However, as I wrote above this is illegal, and if it's found out you'll be in trouble (anywhere between deportation and trial for espionage). For example, if you carry the forbidden country's passport in your luggage, and for some reason it's searched. But there's no database they can search and find your other nationalities.

For an example other than USA-Iran, Israeli citizens are banned from most Muslim countries, yet there are occasionally news stories by Israeli journalists travelling to these countries, with a foreign passport.

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