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Official: One million Iranians pass into Iraq for Arbaeen ceremonies

13 November 2016 14:16

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Spokesman for organization in charge of Arabeen ceremonies affairs Hamidreza Goudarzi said over one million pilgrims have crossed into Iraq through four official Iranian outlets so far.

Talking to IRNA on Sunday, he noted that based on latest information today, about 1,050,000 Iranians have passed through the four border checkpoints on the Iraqi border namely Shalamche, Chazzabe and Mehran as well as air borders.

The official referred to Mehran as the busiest border checkpoint with close to half a million pilgrims having used it to enter Iraq.

Goudarzi further stressed the need for all Iranian pilgrims seeking entry into Iraqi soil to attain visas.

He said 35 Iranian pilgrims who lacked sufficient legal documents have been arrested and sent to jail by Iraqi officials.

The official further noted that the Iranian foreign ministry officials are in talks with the Iraqi side on the release of arrested pilgrims.

He explained those who embark on illegal entry into Iraq will face 6 months in jail and cash punishment.

The official also said a total of 1,390,000 Iraqi visas have so far been issued for Iranian pilgrims with another 743,223 ones still going through the procedures.

Goudarzi said he anticipated about 2,500,000 pilgrims to travel to Iraq for the Arbaeen rituals, showing an increase of about half a million in number compared to last year.

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