Iran tries to increase visa quota for Arbaeen pilgrims
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Tehran was trying to convince the Iraqi government to further increase the visa quota allowing Iranian pilgrims to participate in Arbaeen ceremonies while respecting Covid health protocols.
Amir Abdollahian, however, said that another million-plus march on Imam Hussein’s shrine was impossible due to strict Covid restrictions and the need to protect the health of pilgrims.
Local media say Iraq previously increased the visa quota for Iranians from 40,000 to 80,000 on the orders of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi.
It happened after Iranian government officials had talks with the Iraqis about it. Iraq has capped the number of visas for foreign pilgrims attending Arbaeen ceremonies lest they cause a super-diffusion event amid the Covid pandemic. Arbaeen marks the 40th day after the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein, in the Battle of Karbaka by the Yazid-era tyrant’s army. Every year, millions of Iranians participate in Arbaeen mourning ceremonies in the Iraqi city of Karbala.