Iran, Iraq discuss cooperation on Arbaeen march

MNA – Senior Iranian and Iraqi officials discussed on Sunday issues related to the holding of Arbaeen march this year, as well as border and regional topics.

Iran’s Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari and Iraqi Interior Minister Yasin al-Yaseri met on Saturday in Tehran and conferred on a host of issues, including the pilgrims’ security and the facilitation of their commutes during Arbaeen mourning ceremony.

Brigadier General Ashtari hailed Iraqi government and nation’s hospitality as a valuable measure, saying the agreements on the removal of visa requirements for Arbaeen pilgrims is a positive step toward paving the way for Iranian pilgrims visiting the neighboring country.

He expressed hope that the measure would increase the number of pilgrims this year.

The police chief also siad that Khosravi border crossing has been reopened for the Arbaeen marching, saying “This year, Iranian pilgrims will enter and exit through Chazzabeh, Shalamcheh, Mehran and Khosravi borders.”

Voicing Iranian police’s readiness for exchanging experience with the Iraqi police, the commander added that while Iran is located in the vicinity of the biggest drug producer, it is in the forefront of fighting narcotics.

Al-Yaseri, for his part, hailed capabilities of Iran’s police, saying that Iraq favors using experience of Iran’s police.

Pointing to the arrangements made for Arbaeen ceremony, he said, “Facilitating movement of Arbaeen pilgrims is of high significance for us.”

Iraqi armed and defense forces will endeavor to ensure security of the pilgrims on Arbaeen Day, he said.

Arbaeen, 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, millions of Shias visit Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.

This year, Arbaeen falls on Saturday, October 19.