Iran stops stamping passports

Al-Monitor | : To calm tourists’ fear that a visit to Iran might prevent them from being able to enter the United States, Iran announced in June that it is allowing foreign tourists to enter through its international airports without stamping their passports. Under a US law passed in 2015, travelers who visit Iran and six other countries are subject to enhanced scrutiny when later attempting to enter the United States.

Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported on June 23 that President Hassan Rouhani had instructed the Interior Ministry to coordinate with the border police to eliminate rules related to stamping visas in foreign tourists’ passports. Government spokesperson Ali Rabiei had said on June 19 that the move is aimed at attracting larger numbers of tourists. Accusing the United States of “economic terrorism,” he also said that tourists to Iran fear that an Iranian stamp in their passports will create uncertainty for future travel and that the policy of not stamping passports would make them feel “comfortable” about traveling to Iran.

The latest announcements appear to be of an informative nature, as Iranian officials had said in November of last year that they would stop stamping passports. Ali Asghar Mounesan, head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization, had said on August 19 that the plan was based on reducing travelers’ concerns about the US regulations and sanctions.

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