TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The interior ministries of Iran and Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday to promote cooperation in handling the religious rituals for this year’s Arbaeen, a major Shiite occasion marking the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS).

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and his Iraqi counterpart Qasim al-Araji signed the document in Tehran on Sunday, after an hour-long meeting at Iran’s Interior Ministry.

The MoU encompasses plans for organizing the Arbaeen pilgrimage, including procedures for facilitating the presence of Iranian pilgrims in Iraq and ensuing their security and health.

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.