Hossein Zolfaqari, the interior ministry’s deputy and head of the Arbaeen headquarters, noted that this year, only 60,000 pilgrims went to the Arab country via air due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said it is while nearly 3.7 million Iranians went on Arbaeen pilgrimage to Iraq in the year 2019.
Now the necessary facilities and infrastructure should be prepared to set the ground for sending 4 to 5 million Arabeen pilgrims when the coronavirus pandemic ends, he said.
Arbaeen, which is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussain (AS).
Each year, a huge crowd of Shias flocks to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.
Given the coronavirus situation, Iraqi officials allowed a limited number of foreign pilgrims to take part in the Arbaeen procession this year.