August 6, 2021

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Iran, Russia implement deal on tour visa waiver scheme

Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali watches on as Iran’s minister of tourism Ali Asghar Mounessan (C) and head of Russia’s Rostourism agency Zarina Doguzova pose for a picture after signing the action plan for implementation of a tour visa program in Moscow on June 7, 2021.
Iran and Russia have finally inked a document allowing the implementation of visa-free travel program for tour groups as the two countries seek to expand cultural and tourism exchanges.

Iran’s customs office IRICA said on Monday that the joint plan of action for revoking tour visas had been signed earlier in the day in Moscow between Iran’s minister of tourism Ali Asghar Mounessan and head of Russia’s Rostourism agency Zarina Doguzova.

It said that the plan of action allows the two countries to implement a tour visa program deal that had been signed in October.

“One should now wait for an easing of coronavirus,” said a report by IRICA as it insisted that tour groups of 5 to 50 can now travel between the two countries without obtaining individual visas and solely through approved tourism agencies.  

Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali posted a video on his Facebook page on Monday saying that Iranian and Russian authorities had agreed that they should wait for concrete decisions on easing of coronavirus restrictions by both sides so that the new visa scheme can effectively be executed.

Jalali said in the video, however, that there could be an imminent agreement between the two countries to cover in the program those travelers who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus in both Iran and Russia.

The ambassador said, however, that there was no sign yet when tourism agencies in the two countries would be able to start dispatching travelers under the new scheme.

Iran has eased visa requirements for tourists from several countries as it seeks to increase its revenues from the sector.

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