EghtesadOnline: Truck movement from the four border crossings of Chazzabeh and Shalamcheh in Khuzestan Province, Khosravi in Kermanshah Province and Mehran in Ilam Province will be banned from Oct. 9-25, concurrent with Arbaeen commemorations—one of the largest annual gatherings of Muslims in the world, which peaks on Oct. 19 this year.
According to Mehran Qorbani, the deputy for transportation affairs at Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization of Iran—affiliated with the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, trucks carrying export goods to neighboring Iraq can use alternative gateways, including Bashmaq border terminal in West Azarbaijan Province and three border markets, namely Kileh in West Azarbaijan’s Sardasht County and Tileh Rash and Soushemi in Kermanshah Province, Mehr News Agency reported.
The official noted that over the past years, trucks were prohibited from commuting through Chazzabeh, Shalamcheh and Mehran border terminals during Arbaeen, but could make their way to Iraq through Khosravi border crossing.
“However, this year, due to improved security at the terminal, the gateway has been designated for the travel of pilgrims,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
It is estimated that this year about three million pilgrims will head to Iraq for Arbaeen. For the first time, all four terminals on the Iran-Iraq border have been reserved for facilitating the pilgrimage.
Accordingly, preparations have been made for both road and air transportation of pilgrims.
Mehran is the busiest border crossing during the Arbaeen pilgrimage.
Each year, Muslims from across the world flock to Iraq in the weeks leading to Arbaeen and walk toward Karbala on foot.
According to the official, 82,000 buses have been readied for the transportation of Arbaeen pilgrims this year.
Roads Minister Mohammad Eslami said three additional services have been added to Tehran-Kermanshah train route on the occasion of Arbaeen for pilgrims heading to Kermanshah before making the Iraq pilgrimage.
The minister noted that the capacity of the parking lot in Chazzabeh bus terminal has been doubled this year to accommodate the passenger traffic.
Spokesman of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization Reza Jafarzadeh said airline agencies can sell tickets for Arbaeen flights from Oct. 12-22.
He urged pilgrims to buy their air tickets from valid centers listed on www.agencylist.cao.ir, Fars News Agency reported.
Jafarzadeh estimates that some 108,000 pilgrims will use air transportation for this year’s Arbaeen pilgrimage.
Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport's new Salaam Terminal will handle the pilgrim traffic from the capital city.
Arbaeen, one of the world’s largest religious congregations, comes 40 days after Ashura, the anniversary of the day Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and his companions embraced martyrdom in the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century.
Pilgrims in massive numbers converge on the Iraqi city of Karbala to perform Arbaeen rituals in commemoration of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.