Iraqi Interior Minister has arrived in Tehran to discuss issues related to Arba’een, one of the world’s largest religious gatherings annually held at the fortieth day after the martyrdom of third Shiite Imam, Hussein ibn Ali (AS).
Upon arrival in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, Yassin Taha al-Yasseri was welcomed by Iranian Deputy Interior Minister for Economic Affairs Dinparast.
During a meeting at the airport, the Iranian official expressed hope that the Iraqi minister’s meetings in Tehran would pave the way for further promotion of Iran-Iraq ties in various fields, especially in facilitating the presence of millions of pilgrims in Arba’een.
Al-Yasseri is to hold talks with his Iranian counterpart Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli later on Saturday.
The two sides are to hold talks over re-opening Khosravi border crossing in Iran’s Kermanshah province to further ease the passage of millions of pilgrims during this year’s Arba’een.
Last month, Iraq removed visa requirements for Iranian pilgrims going to the Arab country for Arba’een rituals based on an agreement signed by the two sides in Tehran.
The deal was signed by Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaqari and his Iraqi counterpart in a meeting held in Tehran on Monday morning.
Based on the deal, from now on Arba’een pilgrims can enter Iraq with their passports and letters of insurance.
The long-awaited agreement came after repeated calls by Iran for a visa-free regime in order to facilitate the visit of Iranian pilgrims to the neighbouring state.
Around 2 million Iranians normally visit Iraq during the period, which coincides with the 40th day of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shiite imam whose shrine is in the holy city of Karbala, in central Iraq.
The Arba’een mourning ceremony is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.
Last year, around 20 million pilgrims from all over the world gathered in Karbala on Arba’een.