TEHRAN (Press Shia) – President Hassan Rouhani announced the cancellation of Iranians’ participation in this year’s Arbaeen procession in Iraq due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

– Politics news –

In remarks at a Saturday meeting of the Coronavirus Fight National Headquarters, Rouhani said no pilgrim would travel to Iraq this year for the mourning rituals marking Arbaeen –the religious gathering in commemoration of the third Shiite Imam (AS).

The president said the coronavirus situation in Iraq is much worse than that in Iran with only one month before Arbaeen.

It is also impossible to control a huge gathering of pilgrims in terms of health protocols, he noted.

A few days ago, Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Hossein Zolfaqari said Baghdad has decided to bar all foreign pilgrims from visiting Iraq for this year’s Arbaeen season in the wake of the pandemic.

Each year, millions of Shiites flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites 40 days after Ashura.