0256 GMT January 18, 2020
In a message to Iraq’s President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Sunday, the Iranian president extended his sincere gratitude to Iraqi officials, clerics and religious authorities who ‘spared no effort’ to provide security for the Arbaeen pilgrims and offered warm hospitality.
He also hailed the Arbaeen processions as a manifestation of solidarity and proximity between people of Iran and Iraq and a testimony to the formation of a united front against injustice, discrimination and violence.
The huge congregation proved that Arbaeen is not just an event in the calendar, but a lasting and historic miracle and an immense media for presenting the culture of Ashura, Rouhani added.
The president also paid tribute to the pious and giving people of Iraq who generously hosted millions of pilgrims from Iran and other countries during the Arbaeen season.
Around 3.5 million Iranians traveled to Iraq over the past few days to take part in this year’s Arbaeen processions.
Arbaeen, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (PBUH).
Each year, huge crowds of people flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (PBUH) is located, to perform the mourning rites.