EghtesadOnline: Two days after the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, India held the 11th Consular Committee Meeting with Iran on Thursday to ease visa and legal issues for boosting bilateral ties.
“Both sides discussed issues of mutual interest, including early conclusion of Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on civil and commercial matters, extending longer duration of e-visa for each other’s nationals on reciprocity, visa facilitation for greater people-to-people contact,” a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs of India.
Iran at present provides visa-on-arrival to Indian travelers as a paper visa. Iranian visas are also given to Indians online and through missions, the Indian daily newspaper The Hindu reported.
Joint Secretary in charge of consular affairs Amit Narang from India and Ali Asghar Mohammadi, director general for consular affairs of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, led the two delegations at the talks in India, Financial Tribune reported.
Iran has been conducting talks with various countries for bilateral visa arrangements to help facilitate smooth travel as the country is facing sanctions that can potentially affect the free movement of business travelers. India provides e-visa facilities to Iranian travelers. It is understood that Iran prefers longer duration e-visas from India, the paper wrote.
In recent months, the Iranian paper visa was welcomed by business travelers as it ensured smooth movement through third countries that do not have good ties with Tehran. Streamlined visa processes are aimed at ensuring smooth travel for Indians to Iran where the US sanctions are already disrupting the normal flow of trade.
International tension has impacted India’s business with Iran, as nearly 50 containers from Afghanistan meant for Indian market have been stuck at the port of Chabahar as of May 15, due to new restrictions imposed under the US government-backed sanctions.