Iran Praises Iraq for Hosting Arbaeen Pilgrims

Iran Praises Iraq for Hosting Arbaeen Pilgrims

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The foreign minister of Iran expressed gratitude to the Iraqi people and government for their hospitality during the Arbaeen season and hosting pilgrims despite all limitations.

In a telephone conversation with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein on Friday, Hossein Amirabdollahian appreciated the hospitality of the people and government of Iraq during the Arbaeen pilgrimage ceremonies.

He said Iraqis are giving the Iranian and non-Iranian Arbaeen pilgrims any assistance they can despite the participation of a huge crowd in the mourning event, the restrictions, and the extreme heat.

Amirabdollahian also pointed to the presence of passionate pilgrims in the Iraqi holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, calling on Iranians there to seriously heed the guidelines from the Arbaeen Headquarters and Iran's Interior Ministry.

On Friday morning, Iran closed all land border crossings used by the pilgrims for traveling to Iraq following a massive influx of travelers and growing concerns about their health.

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said a huge number of pilgrims have flocked to the land borders since Thursday, while Iraq lacks the necessary capacities to allow them entry.

The minister also called on the Iranian pilgrims who have plans to travel to Iraq to postpone their departure and refrain from heading for border until further notice.

High temperatures, a shortage of means of transportation in Iraq, and difficulty in access to drinking water have exposed many pilgrims to sunstroke in the border areas.

Iranian officials have predicted that a total of five million pilgrims will travel to Iraq during this year’s Arbaeen season.

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