TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Commander of Iran’s Border Police Brigadier General Qassem Rezaei highlighted his forces’ full control over the country’s borders and said there is no threat to the security of pilgrims visiting neighboring Iraq during the Arbaeen season.
Speaking at a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart at the Mehran border crossing in the western province of Ilam on Monday, Brigadier General Rezaei said, “Security for Arbaeen pilgrims has been provided 100 percent.”
“We have good intelligence dominance on the borders,” he said, adding, “Developments in the border areas are monitored by the most up-to-date control equipment and with coordination between the Iranian and Iraqi border guards and no danger threatens the security of the pilgrims.”
The top commander further pointed to the large number of pilgrims crossing the Mehran border and said the “desirable” security, the existing infrastructure, and the proximity to the Iraqi holy cities have made the border the first choice for the pilgrims.
This year, the four borders of Khosravi, Mehran, Chazzabeh, and Shalamcheh are open to Arbaeen pilgrims.
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.
In August, Iran and Iraq 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.