Iran, Iraq weigh plans to facilitate Arbaeen pilgrimage

Tasnim – Officials from Iran and Iraq explored avenues in a meeting in Tehran to simplify travel for the many Iranian pilgrims going to the Arab country every year on Arbaeen, a major Shiite occasion marking the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussain (AS).

In a meeting at Iran’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday, the Iraqi and Iranian delegations, led by Iraq’s Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Badr and the Iranian Interior Ministry’s director general for border affairs, Majid Aqababaee, discussed ways to enhance coordination on religious trips and facilitate visa regulations for Iranian pilgrims.

Hailing Tehran and Baghdad’s good experience of managing the large congregation of people commemorating Arbaeen over the past years, Aqababaee called for new procedures for reducing obstacles to travels and visa issuing processes in the days leading to Arbaeen.

The Iraqi official, for his part, praised Iran for establishing centers in 12 cities to help pilgrims apply for visa to visit Iraq during Arbaeen.

Arbaeen, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shiite Imam, Imam Hussein (AS).

Each year, a huge crowd of Shiites flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.

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