Qasem Rezaei

Border to Iraq closed, no more place for pilgrims: Commander

IRNA – Commander of Border Guards Brigadier General Qasem Rezaei said that Mehran International Border to Iraq in western Iran has been closed since Thursday morning as there is no more place in that country to accept further pilgrims from Iran.

Iraq has no more capacity to accept the pilgrims for Arbaeen rituals through Mehran border,’ Rezaei told IRNA.

Arbaeen, falling on November 20 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.

Each year, millions of pilgrims, mainly from Iraq and Iran, travel long routes on foot to Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located.

Pilgrims, who want to travel to Iraq to attend the Arbaeen mourning ceremony in Karbala, should enter into Iraq via Chazzabeh and Shalamcheh border crossings, Commander Rezaei said.

He added a large number of Iranian pilgrims who had entered Iraq via Mehran since Wednesday night and early Thursday morning have been sent back to the country by 40 buses while a large number of pilgrims are still waiting in the border point to enter Iraq after possible reopening of Mehran border.

Mehran International Border is located 85 km southwest of Ilam in western Iran.