TEHRAN -- Iraq has decided to allow 30,000 pilgrims from Iran to visit holy shrines in the Arab country later this month for the Shia event of Arbaeen, Fars news agency reported Sunday.
Iran’s western land borders to Iraq will remain closed during the days before and after Arbaeen which falls on September 27 this year and marks the 40th day since the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Peace upon Him).
The report said that Iraq would only allow Iranian air passengers who can submit negative coronavirus test results.
Earlier reports had suggested that Iraq might relax restrictions
on Arbaeen pilgrimage this year after two periods of closures because of the spread of the coronavirus in the Middle East.
Millions of Iranians use the Arbaeen occasion to pay respect to the holy shrines of Shia Imams and other religious sites in Iraq. Tens of thousands of pilgrims from other countries also use Iranian roads to travel to Iraq to attend the ceremony.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials had indicated last week that Iraq might allow Iranian pilgrims to visit the country based on their records of vaccination against the coronavirus.