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Relaxed Visa Rules Between Russia, Iran Take Effect February 6

An agreement between Russia and Iran to simplify procedures for issuing travel visas went into effect on February 6.

The agreement was signed in November between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rohani and was finalized on February 4 by a top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a trip to Moscow.

The agreement simplifies and relaxes visa rules for Russian and Iranian businessmen, people participating in scientific, cultural, and creative activities, students, teachers, tourists, and other categories of travelers, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Khamenei adviser Ali Akbar Velayati announced the introduction of the rules while visiting Moscow and said the two nations were considering going a step further and authorizing visa-free travel between the two countries.

More than 5 million tourists from Russia visited Iran in 2015 while Iran has been eager to increase its business and governmental ties with Moscow.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax