Shia cleric Sadr urges Iranian pilgrims to respect Iraqi laws

In a Persian-language Twitter post, influential Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr urged Iranian pilgrims to respect Iraqi laws and regulations.

“The host should show respect to the guest, and the guest should be respectful of the habits and traditions of the host,” Sadr said in his message to iranian pilgrimsadding that they should observe discipline when entering the country for the upcoming march of Arbaeen, which has a million people, have official permits and passports and respect officials, security forces and the laws of the country.

The Arbaeen ceremony which falls on September 18 this year marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura — the religious ritual to commemorate the third Shia Muslim Imam, Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, in 680 AD – is the largest annual gathering in the world.

Millions of Shia Muslims gather each year to mark Arbaeen in Karbala, Iraq, where the Imam is buried. Many travel long distances, even hundreds of kilometers, to the Imam’s shrine.

Iranian authorities are deploying all religious entities and media to encourage pilgrimage to Karbala. Government organizations and state-affiliated charities as well as municipalities and city councils often allocate considerable budgets to organize the Arbaeen Walk and offer various services, including free Wi-Fi, along the way. and in Karbala. Last year Tehran city council approved two urgent bills allocate a budget of 60 billion rials for holding Jim ceremonies.

Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr

Sadr stressed in his message that Iraq is not obliged to accept more pilgrims than it can accommodate and urged the Iraqi authorities not to entrust the security of the ceremonies to anyone other than its own forces. security of the country. He was referring to armed militias affiliated with the Islamic Republic and others.

Sadr also urged Iraqis to exercise restraint and avoid any kind of conflict with pilgrims, cooperate with security forces to keep pilgrims and holy sites safe, and avoid divisive slogans.

Relative calm was restored to Iraq after Sadr urged all his followers to get off the streets following recent clashes between his supporters and pro-Iranian militias that left around 30 people dead.

Violence erupted in Iraq on August 29 when Sadr – who seeks to curb the Islamic Republic’s influence in Iraqi politics – announced he was quitting politics because his supporters were not getting a fair share in the structure. country policy.

As the violence escalated, Iranian media reported that all air and land borders with Iraq were closed and the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad and other diplomatic missions faced attacks by Sadrists.

Political rivalry between Sadr’s supporters and Iran-aligned parties and paramilitary groups, mainly militias from the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq group, has left Iraq without a government since the October 2021 parliamentary elections in in which the Sadrists won the most seats.

Clashes between Sadr’s supporters and Iran-backed militias in late August in the Iraqi capital, Basra, and other major cities left more than a dozen dead.

Apparently referring to recent violence, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei accused the United States of accusing Iran of meddling in the affairs of other nations in a speech on Saturday and said Iran’s encouragement to other nations “to stand up against the intimidation of world powers” is the main reason for the tensions with the Islamic Republic.

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