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Iran announces free visa for UAE, Saudi citizens

Iran announces free visa for UAE, Saudi citizens

Iran announces free visa for UAE, Saudi citizens

Iran announces free visa for UAE, Saudi citizens

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  •  Iran removed visa requirements for 33 countries, including Gulf States like Saudi Arabia.
  • The move follows years of strained relations between Tehran and Saudi Arabia.
  • Russians will only benefit from this visa exemption if they visit in groups.
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Iran has decided to remove visa requirements for citizens of 33 countries, a list that notably includes Gulf States like Saudi Arabia. This move comes after years of strained relations between Tehran and Saudi Arabia, although there have been recent efforts towards reconciliation, as reported by the Iranian Students News Agency on Thursday.

“The Ministry of Tourism believes that an open-door policy will showcase Iran’s determination to engage with different countries of the world,” the semi-official ISNA reported.

Iran has expanded visa-free entry to its territory for citizens of 45 countries or territories, indicating a significant increase from the previous number. Notably, this move includes Gulf States like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain, despite Tehran not having fully re-established ties with Bahrain.

The decision marks a positive development in the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, following a diplomatic breakthrough in March facilitated by China, which led to the restoration of full diplomatic relations that were severed in 2016.

The list of countries benefiting from this waiver includes Lebanon, Tunisia, India, various Central Asian and African nations, as well as several “Muslim” countries. Interestingly, the lone Western-allied European nation on the list is Croatia, a relatively small member of both the European Union and NATO.

“Russians will only profit from this visa exemption if they are visiting the country in groups,” ISNA added.

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Omani citizens were already permitted to travel to Iran without the need for a visa before this recent announcement.

Starting on December 19, Iranian pilgrims are set to resume regular travel to Saudi Arabia, marking the first time in eight years, as reported by Iranian media on Wednesday.

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