Iraqi minister: Baghdad utilizing entire capabilities to host Arbaeen pilgrims in safest way possible 

October 8, 2019

TEHRAN – Iraqi Interior Minister Yaseen al-Yaseri has announced that his government has done its best to guarantee Iranian pilgrims’ security while participating in the Imam Hussein Arbaeen march and mourning ceremony. 

Al-Yaseri made the remarks while he paid a visit to the Shalamcheh border crossing in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. He was accompanied by Iranian Consul-General in Basra Ahmad Siyahpoosh. 

The Shalamcheh passageway, which is located 15km west of Khoramshahr city, is one the most important borders for the Iranian pilgrims while crossing into Iraq for the Arbaeen march. 

Al-Yaseri further voiced satisfaction over traffic of pilgrims from Shalamcheh into Iraq, adding that Baghdad has also prepared required facilities to hold the ceremony as glorious as possible. 

As the ceremony is very important for both Iran and Iraq, Habibollah Sayyari, the deputy army chief for coordination affairs, said on Sunday that the army has employed military drones at the Iraq borders to ensure the security of pilgrims visiting Iraq for the Arbaeen march.

“The army is closely watching all (Iran-Iraq) borders through different methods to ensure the borders’ security,” Admiral Sayyari said.

He added that the army had been providing other services to the pilgrims as well.

The Arbaeen march, which is the largest religious gathering in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary Imam Hussein (PBUH).

Each year, millions of people travel on foot to Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein is located, to perform mourning rituals.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli predicted last week that more than three million Iranians would visit Karbala.

This year Arbaeen falls on October 19.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on September 18 that “the Arbaeen march is an extraordinary phenomenon not only in our era but also throughout history.”

He added, “We cannot find such a gathering and movement that takes place every year more enthusiastically than the previous years.”