PPA: Estonia has not changed rules for admitting Iranians ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Border control.
Border control. Source: Sergei Stepanov

The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) said on Thursday regulations for Iranian citizens to enter Estonia have not been changed, despite a man being barred from entering the country on Tuesday.

PPA spokeswoman Marge Sillaots told ERR: "Raavo Järva, the head of the Tallinn border crossing, confirms that there are no changes for Iranian citizens entering Estonia."

On Wednesday, Dentist Tarmo Marrandi told ERR an acquaintance of his from Iran, travelling to Estonia from Istanbul, had not been allowed to enter the country and had been badly treated. 

Marrand said his acquaintance was accused of not being able to show that he had sufficient money to support himself during the trip or a hotel reservation. "But it was not needed because as a host I would have arranged for him to be accommodated. He also had a return ticket," said Marrandi. 

The border guards claimed there were concerns the Iranian could move from Estonia to another European Union country, such as Italy because he has family there, said Marrandi.

He said Estonian border guards had treated his acquaintance as a "criminal" and were not helpful. The PPA also looked through his personal photos. Marrandi said it was not explained to his visitor that, while waiting for the return flight he would be able to wait in a lounge at the airport.

"It also damages my reputation because my partner was treated this way by Tallinn Airport," Marrandi said, adding that he invited his longtime Iranian acquaintance, who has lived in Turkey for the past three years, to Tallinn to attend a workshop and seminar on medical supplies and clinical work.

The PPA rejected Marrandi's claims. "A man of Iranian nationality arrived from Istanbul on January 12 at 12.05 pm. The man did not have the appropriate documents to justify the purpose and conditions of his trip. There was also a lack of sufficient means of subsistence, as required by law, in view of the length of stay and the purpose of the trip when applying for a visa. The explanations given by the man and the inviter about the purpose of the trip were contradictory, which led to the refusal of entry and the annulment of his visa. He waited for his flight in the airport."

A foreign ministry spokesman said Estonia is represented in Iran by the Finnish Embassy and issued 133 visas on behalf of Estonia in 2018. In 2019, Estonian foreign missions issued visas to 242 Iranian citizens.

Iranian visa issues reached the media earlier this week after the US authorities allegedly did not issue a visa to the Iranian foreign minister who wanted to attend Thursday's discussion at the UN Security Council.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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