Iran and Iraq agree to ease visa restrictions

September 13, 2021 - 18:36

TEHRAN - Iran and Iraq have agreed to ease tough visa restrictions, Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi announced on Sunday, as a step forward in broadening bilateral relations.

The announcement came during a visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to Tehran, where he discussed various issues including visa waiver, a joint railway project, and increasing the level of trade.

This is good news that the two countries have reached an agreement to abolish visa requirements, Raisi said at a joint presser, without giving any timeline.

Early on Monday, Tehran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi said for the first stage air travelers benefit from the visa waiver program.  

“Currently, only Iranian passengers entering Iraq by flight will not need a visa,” IRNA quoted the envoy as saying on Monday.

“For the time being, visa waivers for travel to Iraq will be limited to air travel, however, it may be extended to land travel after the coronavirus crisis is over.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Iraqi constituted Iran’s largest source of tourists. In return, hundreds of thousands of Iranian pilgrims head for the holy Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala each year to attend the Arbaeen pilgrimage, aka the Arbaeen trek.

The event marks an end to the 40-day mourning period following the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and his loyal companions at the Battle of Karbala on Muharram 10 in the year 61 AH (680 CE).


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