An Iranian deputy foreign minister denied rumors that Iraq has removed visa requirements for pilgrims going to the Arab country for Arbaeen rituals, stressing that all visitors will still need visas from the Iraqi government to cross the border.
Illegal entry into Iraq, namely without a valid visa, will carry a prison sentence of up to six years, Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates’ Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said on Monday, warning the pilgrims not to head to the Iraqi border without a passport and a visa.
The Arbaeen mourning ceremony is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.
It marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Imam Hussein (AS).
Each year, pilgrims, mainly from Iraq and Iran, travel long routes on foot to Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)