Iran temporarily shuts down grounded borders with Iraq, official IRNA reported

A picture taken on February 25, 2015 in the southern Iraqi city of Basra shows trucks and people at the border gate with Iran. AFP PHOTO / HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI (Photo credit should read HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iran temporarily shut down all of its grounded borders with Iraq on Friday amid Arabeen holy Shiite observance days, official IRNA reported.

Iran’s Ministry of Interior shut down all of the country’s grounded borders with Iraq amid Arabeen Shiite observance days in which millions of Irani pilgrims visit Iraqi Krabla holy province to fulfill their religious duties.

IRNA, the state media agency said the border closure is temporary, adding that the ministry of interior urged Iranian pilgrims to return “Immediately” and demand the vacating of the holy places for further pilgrims.

The Ministry did not further specify the reason for the border closure.

The chief of staff at Haji Omran border point, an international Iran-Iraq border crossing in the Kurdistan Region said, “up to this point, Shiite Pilgrims are continuing to enter Iraq from Haji Omran.”

Arbaeen marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for the death of the Shiite leader and grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, Imam Hussein, in a battle fought in Karbala in 680 AD, starting on 16 September 17.

As the Shiite occasion days approaches, millions of Shiite Muslim worshippers from around the world, with the vast majority being Iraqis and Iranians visit the holy Karbala and Najaf provinces.

An Iranian media report expected that this year “between 3 to 5 million Iranian pilgrims will visit Karbala.”

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