(UPDATE: adds comments by a senior Iranian MP in response to Georgia's decision to revoke visa-free rules for Iranian citizens)
Tbilisi is keeping “good neighborly” relations with Tehran in parallel to observing UN sanctions against Iran, PM Ivanishvili said at a news conference on July 3.
“We continue our neighborly relations with Iran. At the same time we follow UN [sanctions] in order not to allow any black money or embargoed products to be delivered into Georgia,” the Georgian PM said.
“We observe all the commitments and at the same time we continue good neighborly relations with Iran,” Ivanishvili said without discussing Georgia’s decision to unilaterally revoke 45-day visa-free rules for Iranian citizens in force from July 1.
A senior Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi has criticized Georgia for canceling visa-free rules and said that the Georgian authorities “don’t respect their own signatures on the agreement,” Iran’s Fars News Agency reported on July 3.
“Since tourism industry is one of the money-making industries in the world, Georgia is boycotting itself by annulling the visa deal with Iran,” Fars News Agency reported quoting Boroujerdi, who chairs Iranian Parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee.
Georgia and Iran signed an agreement on 45-day visa-free travel rules in November, 2010 when then Foreign Minister of Iran visited Georgia.
The agreement went into force in late January, 2011, which contributed to increase in number of visits from Iran to Georgia from about 21,300 in 2010 to over 89,600 in 2012.