SHAFAQNA – Head of Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi urged all Iranians wishing to travel to Iraq for Arbaeen rituals to ensure having a visa.
He said coordination is already in place with the Iranian foreign ministry and Iraqi embassy in Iran for issuing visas for pilgrims in 15 cities across the country.
He noted that visas will be issued only on border towns as well as Khorramshahr in Khuzestan province which neighbors Iraq.
The official stressed that necessary measures have been taken to guarantee safety of Iranian pilgrims during the rituals in Iraq.
Iraqi Interior Minister Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban had already announced that a representative office of the Iraqi consulate will open in the border province of Ilam to facilitate passage of pilgrims for Arbaeen rituals inside Iraq.
He said pilgrims will receive up to 60-day visas to avoid huge crowds at the border crossing.
The minister stressed that all pilgrims wishing to enter Iraq have to have visas otherwise they will be denied entry into the country.
Al-Ghabban highlighted the readiness of his government to provide security and all needed facilities for the Arabeen pilgrims.
Meanwhile, an Iranian Police official too said that drones will be used at Arbaeen to control the traffic and the pilgrims’ security in the Mehran international border.
Colonel Mokhtar Chehri said the drones will also give aid services to the pilgrims at that occasion.
The Astan (custodianship) of the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) in Karbala, Iraq, said preparations are being made for hosting millions of pilgrims on the upcoming occasion of Arbaeen.
According to the website of the Astan, an integrated plan has been underway for ensuring security and arranging the necessary services for the pilgrims.
Every year a large number of pilgrims converge on the holy city of Karbala on the day of Arbaeen.
In the past two years, the number was estimated to be more than 20 million.
Arbaeen marks the anniversary of the 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions in the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 after Hijra (680 AD).
On this day, Shia Muslims all over the world mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions.
This year, Arbaeen falls on Wednesday, December 2.