Tehran, Muscat in talks to waive visas for visitors from Iran

November 1, 2019 - 19:26

TEHRAN - Iran has officially lifted the visa requirement for Omani nationals and now the two countries are in talks to do the same for Iranian travelers.

“Talks with Oman are underway to implement visa-free program for Iranian tourists visiting the country,” Mehr quoted Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan as saying on Wednesday.

“Oman is to cooperate with Iran in this regard and if a no-visa policy is not possible, visa-receiving fees was asked to be reduced,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting.

“In this regard, we have signed an agreement with Oman to boost tourism ties,” he added, referring to his visit to the country made upon the invitation of his Omani counterpart, the report said.

The Iranian minister reiterated that his country seeks expansion of tourism ties with regional and neighboring countries.

On September 20, the Iranian cabinet of ministers approved to maintain a visa waiver program for Omani nationals which had been ratified last September for a one-year period. The government took the decision in light of the friendly atmosphere in relations between the two nations and also in line with the reciprocal action of Oman for facilitating the entry of Iranian nationals.

Iran has taken some various steps to increase its revenues from tourism under U.S. sanctions via improving its tourist ties with regional counties.

In mid-June, President Hassan Rouhani issued an order to the interior minister, according to which Iran will not put stamps on the passports of the visiting foreigners.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said earlier that “under its economic terrorism plans, the U.S. is trying to frighten and stop foreign tourists from making trips to Iran.”

“Unfortunately, the U.S. is following its economic terrorism programs against Iran and seeks to frighten everybody who wishes to travel to Iran from future problems or being sanctioned,” he said, adding, “President Rouhani issued an order according to which Iran will not put stamp on the passports of the visiting foreign tourists.”

Iran started implementation of no-visa policy for Chinese and Hongkonger tourists and businessmen who make trips to Iran as of July 16, while the Russian government announced on September 16 that Iranians and nationals from 52 other countries can visit St. Petersburg via receiving free electronic visa.

About five million international travelers visited Iran in the first half the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21), showing a 27 percent growth year on year.