Kayhan London – Immigration authorities will not stamp the passports of foreign nationals visiting Iran, ILNA (Iranian Labor News Agency) reported, quoting Hormatollah Rafiei, the head of the Association of Iranian Travel Agents.
The measure is meant to accommodate travelers who are concerned that they may not be able to visit the U.S. if their passports bear an Iranian entry visa.
The Iranian government has yet to confirm this report officially. Meanwhile, some European travelers have reportedly been assured by the visa section of the Iranian Consulate General in their respective countries that their passports would not be stamped at the port of entry in Iran.
The U.S. government currently reserves the right to deny ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) applications to people ineligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) who have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011.
Mr. Rafiei, however, was quick to point out that it will take a few months for the measure to go into effect. He added that there hadn’t been a significant increase in the number of European visitors to the country so far.
The move could be seen as a show of thanks by Iran towards Germany, Britain, and France, the three European countries which have been critical of the U.S. withdrawal of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA.)
Meanwhile, the British Foreign Office and France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs have warned their dual nationals of Iranian origin not to travel to Iran.
Dire economic conditions have forced the Iranian government and indeed the regime to implement desperate measures to attract foreign money including offering a five-year residency permit to anyone who invests a minimum of $250,000 in a business venture in Iran. Previously, the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) had passed a bill allowing foreign nationals to remain in the country for three years if they invested at least $300,000 in a business project.
Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi