Tehran calls on Iraq to facilitate travel of Iranian pilgrims

Zarif says Arbaeen symbolizes Iran-Iraq unity

October 26, 2018 - 17:1

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday called on the Iraqi government to facilitate travel of the Iranian pilgrims for the Arbaeen ritual, particularly in border areas.

Zarif made the request in a phone conversation with new Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim. 

Arbaeen marks 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Millions of pilgrims from Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Turkey and other countries trek a main road between Najaf and Karbala on foot to show their devotion to Imam Hussein.  

The shrine of Imam Hussein is in Karbala.

This year Arbaeen falls on Tuesday.

Until Friday about 1.2 million Iranians had crossed border to enter Iraq for the pilgrimage. 

It is estimated that 2.5 million Iranians pour into Iraq for pilgrimage.

Yaghoob Soleimani, an Iranian military official, said last week that the IRGC Arbaeen headquarters is able to accommodate as many as 110,000 pilgrims in the shrine cities of Najaf, Karbala and Samarra in Iraq during the Arbaeen pilgrimage.

In his phone call with Alhakim, Zarif also said that the Arbaeen pilgrimage is a symbol of unity between the Iranian and Iraqi people.

Zarif also congratulated Alhakim on his appointment as the Iraqi foreign minister and expressed hope the relations between Iraq and Iran would expand.

Alhakim, for his part, attached great importance to expansion of ties.


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