Addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday to commemorate Iraqi nationals who host pilgrims from around the world in the Arab country during the Arbaeen season, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “The great march of Arbaeen is a divine sign that indicates God’s will to help the Islamic Ummah (community).”
The Leader described the Iraqi people’s welcoming of Arbaeen pilgrims and their hospitality as “unparalleled” and expressed gratitude to the Arab country’s nation and government for their moves to prepare the ground for the “massive” event.
The peoples of Iran and Iraq are two nations whose hearts and souls are tied together, Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding that enemies made extensive efforts to create divisions between the two nations.
However, the Leader added, with the grace of God, the enemies have not been able to do so because the main link between the two peoples is the faith in Almighty God and the love for the family of Prophet (PBUH), particularly Imam Hussein (AS).
Elsewhere in his address, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the slogans chanted by attendees about the defeat of the US and the Zionist regime of Israel, and said, “With the grace of God, these slogans will be realized and the Islamic Ummah will defeat its enemies in the not too distant future.”
Last month, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and his Iraqi counterpart Yassin Al Yasiri signed an agreement in Tehran to remove visa restrictions for Iranian Arbaeen pilgrims.
Iran and Iraq also agreed to raise the level of services and facilities for the pilgrims and enhance border security during the Arbaeen season, which will culminate in a large gathering in Karbala on October 19.
Arbaeen, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shiite Imam.
Each year, a huge crowd of Shiites, including Iranians, flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.