Iraq has agreed to allow 60,000 Iranian pilgrims to visit the Arab country during the Arbaein season, an Iranian official said.
Ali Reza Rashidian, head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said that while the Baghdad government had announced a 30,000-quota for Iranian pilgrims, it agreed to double the number prior to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s visit to Tehran.
He added that pre-registration for going on Arbaeen pilgrims has begun and those who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine can register for the trip.
Kadhimi arrived in Tehran on Sunday to hold talks about bilateral relations, issues of mutual interest as well as regional and international developments in meetings with Iranian officials.
Baghdad has said that foreign pilgrims must enter Iraq via airports and have a negative PCR test certificate.
Arbaein, which is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (AS).
Each year, a huge crowd of Shias flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.
Many of them walk all the way from Najaf to Karbala.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Baghdad decided to bar all foreign pilgrims from visiting Iraq for last year’s Arbaein.
This year, Arbaein falls on September 27.