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EghtesadOnline: Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates Affairs Hassan Qashqavi announced that all Iranian pilgrims are required to obtain Iraq visas to take part in the November 20 Arbaeen mourning rituals in the holy city of Karbala.

Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, Qashqavi said Iran believed visas were not necessary for Arbaeen rituals but the Iraqi side did not agree with removal of visas.

However, he said, Iran will act according to the regulations set by the Iraqi side, reports IRNA.

Last year, pilgrims were allowed to travel inside Iraq without visas but that would not be possible this year due to military preparations, he added.

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), the third Imam of Shiite Muslims.

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.

Hassan Qashqavi Iranian pilgrims Iraq visa Arbaeen