TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami made assurances that the IRGC forces have full control over border areas as hundreds of thousands of Iranian pilgrims are flocking to Iraq for Arbaeen ceremony.
“Today, with the grace of God, the IRGC has full control over border areas,” salami said during a visit to the Mehran border crossing in the western province of Ilam on Saturday.
He emphasized that the forces will try their hardest to ensure the security of the pilgrims during their journey to Iraq.
The commander also said the IRGC has set up a camp with a capacity of 6,000 people and a field hospital in the Mehran border crossing.
On Thursday, Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi said that Iraq had by then given about 1.3 million Iranian applicants visas for going on pilgrimage to the Arab country’s city of Karbala to perform mourning rituals marking Arbaeen.
Arbaeen, which is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shiite Imam, Imam Hussein (AS).
Each year, a huge crowd of Shiites flock to Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.
Last year, around 20 million pilgrims from all over the world gathered in Karbala to attend the mourning ceremonies marking Arbaeen.