Iran is prepared to conclude a mutual visa waiver agreement with Russia, allowing more freedom of movement for Russian visitors to the Islamic Republic, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali said in an interview with the Izvestia daily.
“Iran is ready to lift visa requirements for Russians, which should give an additional boost to the development of mutual tourism,” said the ambassador.
“We are currently at the very beginning of the implementation of this agreement. Regarding the complete visa abolition between our countries, I would like to emphasize that in the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are fully prepared for this step — to abolish visas so that citizens of our states can travel between them freely. Naturally, we await the relevant decisions from our officials, after which these measures will be approved and put into practice.”
Jalali discussed the opportunities that this agreement holds for both states, noting that collaboration between Moscow and Tehran can be seen in both the automotive and aviation industries. He also discussed political and economic prospects that can come as a result of such agreements.
When asked about the flow of tourists between the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic, Jalali said that the processes for Russian tourists are still underway but that the tourists in question have a lot of beauty and culture to experience during their visits to Iran.
“I will reiterate, we are at the beginning of this journey. Russian citizens might not be very familiar with Iran’s possibilities, with its atmosphere. Nevertheless, we are pleased to invite Russian citizens to enjoy the splendors of our country,” the ambassador continued to mention several aspects of tourism in Iran.
On matters of economic and technological development, the ambassador mentions the previous discourse concerning Iranian-Russian relations being exclusive to oil production.
“Our countries are progressively advancing cooperation in various directions. Previously, such interaction was largely limited: we mainly spoke about Iran and Russia being two enormous oil-producing powers, and therefore, we reasoned that we were competitors and couldn’t significantly enhance our interaction. Such perspectives prevailed both in Iran and in Russia.”
The visa waiver agreement was first announced earlier in March by the Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov at the MITT exhibition, Russia’s premier B2B travel and tourism trade show, reports the Tehran Times.
“This document has already been passed on to [our] colleagues in Iran. We are now waiting for a similar [list] from you so as to let the tourist exchange process get underway,” Reshetnikov said, addressing his Iranian counterparts.
This readiness to launch touristic initiatives comes as Russian-Iranian relations in the past year have undergone major developments in the economic and political sectors.
On January 29th, this effort toward cooperation kicked off with the central banks of both countries signing an agreement connecting their interbank transfer systems.
With the signing of the agreement, 52 Iranian and 106 Russian banks are connected through the Russian Financial Message Transfer System, which will facilitate economic relations between the two countries, said Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Mohsen Karimi.
Russian-Iranian cooperation does not limit itself to the political and economic spheres, however, as proven by the trilateral security cooperation involving China as a third party in the Persian Gulf’s security reboot.
Source » thecradle