0223 GMT October 16, 2019
Hassan Qashqavi, the deputy foreign minister for consular, parliamentary, and expatriates' affairs, said the Islamic Republic has for the past four years been proposing to Iraq to lift the visa restrictions, Press TV reported.
“Unfortunately, for reasons that are respectable for us, the Iraqi government has no decision to lift the visa restriction,” he said.
Some media outlets, the official complained, were encouraging people to set out for the pilgrimage without obtaining visas in advance by making false claims about the standing travel arrangements between the countries.
Qashqavi urged the public against departing for Iraq without passports and visas.
The official, meanwhile, said the Foreign Ministry would welcome the elimination of visa requirements with whatever country. He cited the example of Serbia, which earlier in the year, stopped requiring Iranians to obtain visas before traveling to the country, and said the Islamic Republic rewarded the gesture by adopting the same measure.