Sunday, November 26, 2023

MOU on Visa-Free Travel between Tajikistan and Iran Less than Meets the Eye

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 24 – The memorandum of understanding on visa free travel for Tajiks going to or through Iran and Iranians going to or through Tajikistan that was signed during Iranian President Saiid Ibrahim Raisi’s visit to Dushanbe two weeks ago, a step widely celebrated in both countries, in fact is far less sweeping than it appears, Asia Plus says.

            Not only is it only a statement of intentions that must be followed by a formal agreement, the news agency points out; but the MOU specifies that each side has the right to block entrance  to its territory of anyone it deems undesirable without notification or explanation (

            Consequently, movement between the two countries who share similar but not identical languages is unlikely to take off as some have predicted in the last few days. Instead, there is likely to be a slow process of opening the border as the two governments seek to specify in more detail just who will have the right to travel without a visa and who will not.

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