A recent agreement on visa-free travel between Armenia and Iran has come into effect, the Armenian government announced over the weekend.
A government statement said Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian met with the Iranian ambassador in Yerevan, Seyyed Kazem Sajjad, on Saturday to discuss Iranian-Armenian relations and, in particular, implementation of the agreement.
“Ambassador Sajjad said that all border checkpoints of Iran have been notified that starting from today citizens of Armenia can enter Iran without a visa,” said the statement.
The agreement in question lifted visa requirements for Iranian nationals visiting Armenia and vice versa. It was signed by the Iranian and Armenian foreign ministers in Tehran on June 5.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani attended the signing ceremony, underlining the deal’s significance to Tehran. He said the neighboring states should deepen their ties “in all areas.”
The official Iranian news agency IRNA said at the time the deal “is the result of significant progress in Iran-Armenia relations made in the past few months.”
Earlier in June, the Armenian government said the visa-free regime will boost Armenia’s commercial ties with Iran and attract more Iranian tourists to the country.
The number of Iranians visiting Armenia has already increased sharply over the past decade. According to Armenian government data, it reached 144,000 last year, up by 24 percent from 2014.
Many Iranians travel to Armenia during annual celebrations in March of Nowruz, the ancient Persian New Year that has long been their country’s most popular and longest holiday. The number of such holidaymakers more than doubled this year.