Iran has unilaterally relaxed its visa requirements for Armenians in recognition of its “friendly and deep” ties with Armenia, the Iranian ambassador in Yerevan announced on Monday.
Mohammad Reisi told the Armenpress news agency that starting next year Armenian nationals travelling to the Islamic Republic will be able to quickly receive Iranian visas at the border between the two states.
The visas have until now been issued only by the Iranian consulate in Yerevan.
“The historical-cultural and spiritual similarities and long-standing coexistence of the Iranians and the Armenians herald the peaceful goals of the two peoples to the region and the world,” Reisi said in a written statement that congratulated Armenians on the upcoming New Year and Christmas holidays.
“I am happy with the friendly and deep relations between the two peoples and governments and convinced that both countries have a strong will to develop their mutually beneficial relations. Good programs aimed at expanding those relations have been drawn up during meetings of high-ranking [Iranian and Armenian] officials held in recent months,” added the diplomat.
He appeared to refer to Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s October visit to Iran and a meeting of the Iranian-Armenian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation that took place in Tehran earlier this month. Two sides reportedly pledged to give new impetus to the implementation of joint energy projects.
Reisi already stated in February that Iran and Armenia may soon lift visa requirements for their citizens travelling to each other’s country.
Tehran has long been seeking visa-free travel between Armenia and Iran. Successive Armenian governments have been lukewarm about the idea.
The existing visa requirements have not prevented a sharp rise in the number of Iranian tourists visiting Armenia over the past decade.