Iran’s Border Police commander said his forces are geared up to ensure the security of pilgrims planning to travel to Iraq for the Arbaeen mourning ceremony later this month.
In comments on Wednesday, Brigadier General Qassem Rezaei said the Border Police troops are fully prepared to protect and ensure security of people at the common borders with Iraq at the annual congregation of Muslim pilgrims in commemoration of Arbaeen.
The commander said the Border Police forces would handle the security of travelers at the land border crossings of Mehran, Shalamcheh and Chazzabeh, west of Iran.
The number of pilgrims crossing Iran-Iraq border during this year’s Arbaeen season is predicted to rise by 20 to 30 percent, General Rezaei noted.
He finally assured the Iranians of the continuing dominance of Border Police forces along the frontiers, stressing that full security prevails at all border areas of Iran.
Arbaeen, which is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shiite Imam, Imam Hussein (AS).
Each year, a huge crowd of Shiites flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.
Iranian pilgrims travelling to Iraq by land can choose from three border crossings, Shalamcheh, Chazzabeh and Mehran.