Iran closes borders with Iraq in run-up to Shia mourning days

Iran has tightened restrictions on travel through western borders with Iraq as authorities struggle to prevent another surge in coronavirus cases in the run-up to major Shia mourning days later this week.

A spokesman of Iran’s customs administrations said on Monday that all border crossings into neighboring Iraq will be closed to passengers until further notice.

Rouhollah Latifi said that borders will even stop processing trade on August 18-19, the two days know as Tasua and Ashura which mark the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the second Shia Imam and grandson of prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Latifi said the ban would include borders to the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq to stop Iranian passengers from entering the territory with the final aim of travelling into the Iraqi mainland to attend mourning ceremonies.

“All land borders to Iraq is closed for passengers and pilgrims are not allowed to cross the border,” he said.

The announcement comes as Iran is going through a rampant waves of coronavirus infections.