September 28, 2023

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Tehran, Moscow launch visa-free access for tourist groups

TEHRAN— On Tuesday, Russia and Iran officially implemented visa-free tourist exchanges dedicated to groups of five to 50 travelers.

In a similar agreement, Russia inaugurated another mutual visa-waiver program with China as of August 1.

Russian citizens are now able to travel to both countries for tourism purposes in groups for up to 15 days at a time, and vice versa, Sputnik reported on Tuesday.

“Now, Russians will enjoy visa-free access to two of the oldest and richest civilizations on Earth —both of which also happen to be Moscow’s key strategic partners.”

In the case of Iran, Russia officially concluded the visa waiver program with the country in July, with the two countries exchanging lists of accredited travel agencies.

Late in June, Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali announced that Iran is ready to waive visa requirements reciprocally with Russia, based on an agreement the two countries previously secured for certain tourist groups. The agreement was initially signed by former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in 2017.

According to the Russian Union of Travel Industry, demand for tours to Iran is expected to grow as the high autumn season approaches.

Currently, more than 360 Russian tourism agencies and tour operators offer organized visa-free group trips to China, while 260 offer group tourism to Iranian destinations, the report said.

Altogether, the three countries cover more than 18% of the world’s land area and contain many natural and man-made values of ancient and modern civilizations.

As mentioned by the report, Iran and China can proudly boast their status as among the oldest continuously surviving civilizations on Earth, with all the cultural, archeological, architectural, and other splendors that come with such a status while Russia is known to be home to dozens of major lost ancient historical empires and has its own thousand-year history to speak of.


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