People, Travel

MoU to Ease Visas for Iraqis

MoU to Ease Visas for IraqisMoU to Ease Visas for Iraqis

Iran and Iraq are set to sign a memorandum of understanding for boosting tourism ties between the neighboring states, namely easing visa requirements for Iraqi citizens, among others.

Iraq’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Adel Fahad Shershab and Masoud Soltanifar, the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, emphasized the importance of bolstering bilateral relations and hoped the MoU could help address problems hampering progress, CHTN reported.

“During the 12 months, numerous meetings between Iranian and Iraqi tourism and cultural heritage officials helped prepare the ground for cooperation and boost mutual understanding, which will be reflected in the agreement,” Soltanifar said.  

Over four million tourists travel between the two neighboring countries annually. About 2.2 million Iranian pilgrims go to Iraq every year, while roughly the same number of Iraqis travels to Iran to make pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) in Mashhad and visit Iran’s numerous tourist attractions.

 Taq Kasra Inscription

A joint working group comprising Iranian and Iraqi experts has been formed to work on the dossier of Taq Kasra to inscribe the historical site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, said Farhad Nazari, the head of Cultural and Historical Registration Office at ICHHTO.

“If the historical site receives world heritage status, it will be registered as a common site of Iran and Iraq,” the official told Mehr News Agency.

The two sides have agreed for the monument to be restored by Iranian specialists to prepare it for inscription in 2017.

Taq Kasra is a Sassanid-era Persian monument located near the modern town of Salman Pak, Iraq. It is the only visible remaining structure of the ancient city of Ctesiphon. The archway is the largest single-span vault of unreinforced brickwork in the world. The monument is also called Iwan of Madaen or Eyvan-e Kasra, meaning Iwan of Khosrow.