Pontecorvo was in Iran from January-June 1974. It was a Royal Society exchange visit.
On behalf of the Royal Society, Pontecorvo travelled to Iran as the Leverhulme Overseas Visiting Professor. He visited the Deparment of Biology at Pahlavi University in Shiraz, Iran from Jan-June 1974. He ran an advanced qualifying course on somatic cell genetics of twenty lectures and ten practical classes. Besides delivering lectures, he submitted a report containing his observations on the archeology, nomadism and elementary and secondary education system, in the town of Shiraz. He also researched the quality of teaching and resources available in the medical school and at the University of Shiraz (Pahlavi University), with recommendations as to measures the Royal Society could take to improve these. Pontecorvo also conducted 22 botanical field work trips.