Speaking on the sidelines of his visit to the Mehran border crossing in western Iran on Wednesday, Brigadier General Rezaei hailed the crossing as “the border of kindness and friendship” and said that over the past two days, he has managed to meet with a number of local border police commanders and examine the security of the region.
He further pointed to his visits to the Ilam and Mehran border crossings and said given the past experiences of all organizations, especially the border police, there will be problem for the passage of a large number of pilgrims traveling to Iraq.
The commander also referred to the agreements reached by the Iranian and Iraqi government officials on Arbaeen pilgrimage and said Iran’s common borders with neighboring countries, especially Iraq, enjoy good security.
Speaking to reporters in the northern city of Zanjan on Monday, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said four border crossings have been prepared for the Arbaeen season, during which a huge crowd of people visit Iraq to pay tribute to Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shiite Imam.
The minister also emphasized that full security prevails along Iran’s borders, saying Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has issued orders to allocate credits from the National Development Fund for enhancing border security.
Earlier this month, Rahmani Fazli and his Iraqi counterpart Yassin Al Yasiri signed an agreement in Tehran to reopen the Khosravi border crossing and 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 the third Shiite Imam.
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.