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Iran to lift visa restrictions to revive pandemic-hit tourism sector

Iran’s new tourism chief said the government will soon scrap visa restrictions, a plan that the struggling tourism sector has been desperately waiting for to get back on its feet amid the coronavirus pandemic.
An incoming passenger crosses with his luggage through a disinfection tunnel upon arriving on an Emirates flight at the Iranian capital Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on July 17, 2020.

“The spring of tourism [is coming],” wrote the government-run Iran newspaper Sept. 21, reporting on a ceremony in which conservative politician Ezzatollah Zarghami was sworn in as Iran’s new minister of cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts.

Zarghami told the event that following his conversations with hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran plans to lift visa restrictions to help the severely hit tourism industry. Zarghami did not specify the date upon which those regulations would be scrapped. But several Iranian media outlets reported that twice-vaccinated foreign travelers would be embraced under the updated regulations.

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