Tehran, Baghdad set to ink MOU on Arbaeen pilgrimage

August 12, 2017

TEHRAN – Tehran and Iraq will soon sign a memorandum of understanding during the visit to Tehran of Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji.

“We sign a memorandum of understanding with Iran’s interior minister at the end of the negotiations in Tehran,” the Iraqi minister told IRNA before leaving Baghdad to Tehran on Saturday.

Reportedly, Tehran insists on the opening of the Khosravi border crossing which lies northeast of Baghdad, an issue Baghdad resists for security concerns.
Annually, Iranians pour into Iraq's Shi'ite holy site in Karbala since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The pilgrimage, known as Arbaeen, marks the end of a 40-day mourning period that commemorates the seventh-century death of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
More than three million Iranians are estimated to flock to Karbala this year, thirteen percent of whom are planned to pass through the Khosravi border crossing. 

Currently, Iranian pilgrims use three crossing borders of Mehran, Shalalmcheh, and Chazabeh to enter neighboring Iraq. 
Iran and Iran, which fought a war in the 1980s, enjoy closest ties after the ousting of the Saddam Hussein regime. Iran was the first country which rushed to the help of Iraqis as the Islamic State ravaged through the country in 2014. 


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