October 26, The Iran Project – So far over 1.5million visas have so far been issued for pilgrims going to Iraq for Arbaeen rituals in Iran and the Iranian pilgrims also have been warned over traveling to Iraq without a visa.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates’ Affairs Hassan Qashqavi rejected reports that Iraq has removed visa requirements for pilgrims going to the Arab country for Arbaeen rituals, stressing that visitors will still need visas from the Iraqi government to cross the border.
Unfortunately, Baghdad has no decision to lift visa requirements for Iranian pilgrims despite Tehran’s repeated proposals for introduction of a visa-free regime between the two countries, he added.
Qashqavi also warned the public against departing for Iraq without passports and visas.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Arbaeen Central Headquarters Majid Aqa Bababaei has announced that so far over 1.5 million visas have been issued for pilgrims going to Iraq for Arbaeen rituals.
Aqa Bababaei said several offices have been established in Tehran, western province of Kermanshah, Ahvaz (southwestern province of Khuzestan) and Mashad (northeastern province of Khorasan-e Razavi).
In another development, Jamsheed Goudarzi, deputy head of an Iranian headquarters tasked with reconstruction of the holy Shia sites in Iraq said Iranian authorities have given permission for the installation of more than 1,600 pavilions and congregation halls to provide food, beverage, accommodation and medical services for the pilgrims traveling to the Iraqi city of Karbala on foot for Arbaeen.
Goudarzi said more than 1,600 Iranian pavilions have been given certification to offer services for the Arbaeen pilgrims.
Arbaeen, falling on November 9 this year, is a Shia Muslim religious observance that occurs forty days after the Day of Ashura to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the third Imam of Shia Muslims.
Last year, around 20 million pilgrims from all over the world gathered in Karbala on Arbaeen.