Iran avoids reciprocating Turkey's land border opening
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 18 May 2021 5:43 PM
Iran's customs office IRICA has denied reports suggesting that land borders to Turkey have reopened following more than a fortnight of closure over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
IRICA spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said on Tuesday that passenger travel through crossings to Turkey would remain banned despite a decision in Turkey to reopen its borders.
The remarks came after Turkish authorities lift the ban on travel through land borders in anticipation of a similar move in Iran that could help boost tourism arrivals from the eastern neighbor.
Latifi said IRICA appreciates Turkey's move to reopen the borders but he said that a reciprocal decision in Iran should wait for approval of the country's national headquarters to control the coronavirus outbreak.
"There has not been any decision on the issue yet," said the spokesman without saying if there is a pending announcement from the headquarters on northwestern borders.
Latifi said the current ban on travel to Turkey would only apply to passengers and tourists, adding that Iranian nationals who have residency or job permits in Turkey can cross the borders.
Iran closed its borders to Turkey on April 29 for a period of 19 days ending May 17. the ban was imposed after a surge in coronavirus cases in neighboring Iraq and Turkey with authorities concerned about the spread of new variants of the virus into Iran.
Iranian health ministry said on Tuesday that number of positive coronavirus cases in Iran had increased by 13,930 in the past 24 hours to a total of 2,779,415.
The ministry said that deaths from the virus had also surged by 310 to a total of 77,532.
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