Prestige Of Iranian Passport Declines Further In World Rankings
Radio Farda July 06, 2020
The Islamic Republic of Iran's passport has ranked as the sixth least respected in the world in the latest Passport Index report.
Out of 199 countries across the globe, the Iranian passport ranks 194 just ahead of Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq at the bottom of the table.
A passport is more than just a travel document. It also indicates your place in the world, where you can stay (and for how long), the benefits you're entitled to and how you are treated around the world.
However, the primary yardstick for compiling the most prestigious passports' list is the number of countries to which the holder of a passport can travel to without needing an entry visa.
Based on the new list, with an Iranian passport one can only travel to five countries without needing a visa, i.e., Turkey, Micronesia, Haiti, and two unnamed countries.
With an Iranian passport, one can get a visa upon arrival in 28 countries, but Iranians still need a visa to travel to 165 countries.
According to the table, the passports of countries such as Pakistan, Eritrea, Bangladesh, North Korea, Libya, and the Palestinian territories are in a better position than Iranian passports in terms of power and prestige.
The Iranian passport ranks 194th in 2020, while it was at 101st spot in 2019.
Two years ago, Iranian passports ranked 92nd among 199 countries, and Iranians could travel to forty countries without a visa.
The sharp decline has occurred despite President Hassan Rouhani's promise to recover the prestige for Iranian passports.
Earlier, a member of Iranian parliament's cultural commission, Alireza Ebrahimi, noted that the credit of Iranian passports has been declining in recent years, adding, "Preserving the dignity of the Iranian passport is now challenging. Other countries have set numerous harsh restrictions for the holders of Iranian passports."
However, before the downfall of the monarchy and the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, Iranians could travel visa-free to almost all European countries, save the ones in the Eastern bloc.
Meanwhile, according to the new report by Passport Index, Japan, and New Zealand's passports are jointly ranked number one in 2020. Japanese citizens can travel to 82 countries without a visa and obtain a visa upon arrival in 36 other countries.
Finland, Austria, Luxembourg, Ireland, South Korea, Switzerland, and Australia shared second place in the world's most prestigious passport ranking.
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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