Hossein Zolfaqari, the Iranian Interior Ministry’s Security and Law Enforcement Deputy and head of the Arbaeen Central Headquarters, said pilgrims who go to Iraq during Arbaeen will only need to carry their passport and insurance copies with them to cross the border.
He said the decision was made during his recent meeting with an Iraqi interior ministry official.
In the meeting, Zolfaqari noted, the draft of a memorandum of understanding on Iranians’ participation in Arbaeen pilgrimage was signed by the two sides.
He added that based on the agreement, Iranian pilgrims can cross the border without a visa and will just need their passport stamped by Iraqi border police.
Arbaeen comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (AS).
Each year, a huge crowd of Shias flock to Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.
In the past few years, around 20 million pilgrims from all over the world took part in the mourning ceremonies in the Iraqi holy city marking Arbaeen.
Arbaeen will fall on Saturday, October 19 this year.
The number of Iranians in this year’s Arbaeen pilgrimage is expected to exceed 3 million.