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Security of Arbaeen Pilgrims a Priority
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Security of Arbaeen Pilgrims a Priority

A deputy interior minister highlighted the importance attached by Iran to the security of its citizens traveling to Iraq for the Arbaeen pilgrimage, saying Tehran and Baghdad should work closely to counter any potential threat. In a recent meeting with Iraq’s Defense Minister Erfan al-Hiyali, Iranian Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Hossein Zolfaqari hailed the measures taken by the two neighbors to facilitate trips to Iraq for Arbaeen, Tasnim News Agency reported. He said the Iraqi Defense Ministry could play an influential role in ensuring the security of pilgrims. The deputy minister stressed that the two countries should maintain vigilance to foil any threat during the religious event next month. Zolfaqari voiced Iran’s readiness to dispatch its Red Crescent Society’s helicopters to Iraq upon the permission of the Baghdad government. In mid-September, the Iraqi Embassy and consulates in Iran started to issue visas for Iranian applicants intending to visit the Arab country for the Arbaeen pilgrimage. Over 2.4 million Iranians traveled to Iraq in 2016 for Arbaeen, a major Shia event marking the 40th day anniversary after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his 72 companions by the army of the despotic ruler Yazid. Each year, a large number of Shias converge on the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (PBUH) is located, to participate in the mourning rites.

 

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