Iraqi Airlines Resume Flights to Iran

Iraqi Airlines has resumed operating flights to Iran in compliance with the coronavirus protocols, an Iranian official said.

The spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran said Iraqi airlines have restarted flights from Najaf to Tehran and Mashhad after a hiatus due to the health restrictions.

Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh also noted that there is no restriction on permissions for Iranian flights to Iraq.

"Iranian airlines can carry passengers in those flight routes (to Iraq) after getting permission," he said, adding that two Iranian flights from Tehran and two from Mashhad are ready to take passengers to Najaf and Baghdad every week upon approval by Iraq.

Millions of Iranians normally go to Iraq each year to visit holy cities in the Arab country, especially the cities of Najaf and Karbala. Also, Iraqi pilgrims travel to Iran for pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mashhad and Qom.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has prompted both countries to tighten restrictions on travel and movement.

In comments on Saturday, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani called on the authorities to increase vigilance to prevent the transmission of new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, urging stricter regulations for testing and quarantining travelers at the ports of entry in Iran, particularly passengers coming from the countries with reports of mutated strains of COVID.

Last week, the first Iranian patient diagnosed with a UK coronavirus variant died in the northern city of Qazvin.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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