Iranian Minister Asks Iraq to Accelerate Visa Issuance for Arbaeen Pilgrims

 Iranian Minister Asks Iraq to Accelerate Visa Issuance for Arbaeen Pilgrims

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli called on neighboring Iraq to accelerate the process of issuing visa to pilgrims who want to travel from the Islamic Republic to the Arab country to perform religious rites.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli called on neighboring Iraq to accelerate the process of issuing visa to pilgrims who want to travel from the Islamic Republic to the Arab country to perform religious rites.

In a telephone conversation on Friday, Rahmani Fazli and his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban exchanged views about the measures taken for the influx of Iranian pilgrims to the holy city of Karbala to attend the Arbaeen mourning ceremony in early December.

Babak Dinparast, the head of the interior ministry's information center, said Rahmani Fazli has asked Ghabban to help expedite visa processing by the Iraqi consular offices in Iran for the country’s pilgrims.

The Iranian minister also assured that as in the past, the Islamic Republic’s police forces and border guards will prevent the illegal entrance into Iraq.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency earlier on Thursday, the head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said Iraq has so far given 1.3 million Iranian applicants visas for going on pilgrimage to the Arab country’s city of Karbala.

Saeed Ohadi said 800,000 Iranian pilgrims have until now travelled to Iraq via three border crossings.

The official called on the Iranian travelers not to flock only into the Mehran border crossing in the province of Ilam, recommending them to use two other border crossings in Chazzabeh and Shalamcheh, located in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

Ohadi also expected a higher number of pilgrims crossing the border in the coming days.

Arbaeen, which is 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.

Last year, around 20 million pilgrims from all over the world gathered in Karbala to attend the mourning ceremonies marking Arbaeen.



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