October 22, The Iran Project – From last few days, millions of Iranian Shia pilgrims have been crossing the borders with Iraq to participate in the Arbaeen religious ceremony in the holy city of Karbala. This year, the event will be held on October 30.
On Sunday (Oct. 21), the official at Basij Organization, Major General Yaghoob Soleimani said that as many as 650 buses (coaches) as well as 2 trains have been allocated to serve the Arbaeen Pilgrims who have planned to travel from across Iran to the Iraq to attend the religious event.
Speaking at Shalamchah border crossing with Iraq in the south western Province of Khuzestan, Soleimani stated the number of foreign pilgrims who cross Iran to reach Iraq has risen by 100%, adding that as many as 1,320,000 pilgrims are expected to be dispatched to Iraq by the end of this year’s Arbaeen.
He also announced that as many as 12 medical teams have been dispatched by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to give medical services to pilgrims.
In a statement on Sunday (Oct. 21), Khuzestan border guard commander, General Abdollah Nazarpour announced that Basra-Khorramshahr marine passenger line is ready to carry pilgrims departing from Khuzestan province to Karbala on the occasion of Arbaeen, stressing the move is aimed at facilitating the pilgrims’ transfer during the busy days.
The general commander highlighted the importance of boosting security of pilgrims and noted, the coastguard of the southwestern province will escort the vessels along the route to Iraq.
Moreover, Managing Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, known as RAJA, Mohammad Rajabi on Saturday (Oct. 20) declared that the special train service has been launched from the northeastern holy city of Mashhad to the capital Tehran and then to the western city of Kermanshah near the Iraqi border for pilgrims planning to visit Iraq during the Arbaeen season.
He further reiterated since the nearest border is the Mehran border crossing in Kermanshah, the special train service was launched from Mashhad to Kermanshah, adding that once pilgrims arrive in Kermanshah, a bus would transfer them to the Mehran border crossing.
Earlier on Thursday (Oct. 18), Representative of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Alireza Adyani asserted that 30,000 police officers will safeguard Arabeen rituals in Shalamche, Mehran and Chazabeh Borders.
He said creating security for over 2 million pilgrims of Arbaeen is the most important mission of police.
Also on Wednesday (Oct. 18), Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji said that his country is fully ready to host Arbaeen pilgrims, noting that Iraqi and Iranian officials are cooperating with each other to ensure the security of pilgrims.
The Arbaeen pilgrimage to Karbala or Great March of Arbaeen in Iraq is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, commemorating the 40th day after the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam in the seventh-century. Many pilgrims travel miles on foot to reach Karbala.