People, Travel

Visa Waiver Should Entice Russians

Visa Waiver Should Entice RussiansVisa Waiver Should Entice Russians

Iran is looking to attract between one and two million tourists from Russia every year by entering into a visa-free agreement with the country.

Speaking to IRNA, Masoud Soltanifar, head of the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said removing visa requirements for will help boost inbound numbers from Russia, which has over 40 million annual outbound travelers.

In 2015, barely 50,000 Russians visited Iran.

Last month, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei suggested that Tehran may unilaterally cancel tourist visas for Russian citizens.

Morteza Rahmani Movahed, the tourism deputy at the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization told Moscow-based news agency RIA Novosti the two countries could waive visa requirements altogether “within a week” if Russia agreed on a mutual political decision.

Russia’s agreement with Iran simplifying visa requirements for tourists, businesses and other travelers takes effect on February 6. Participants in the two countries’ scientific, cultural and art events, as well as students and teachers, are included in the simplified visa regime.