Saeed Ohadi told Media that the terrorist attack carried out by the Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri group was a forlorn attempt by the terrorist group following its successive defeats against Iraqi army and popular forces.
On Sunday, two suicide bomber set off their explosives at a car park for Shia pilgrims visiting al-Askari Mosque in the vicinity of a hospital in Samarra, killing and injuring tens of innocent people, including a number of Iranian pilgrims.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.
Ohadi said the first suicide bomber who was riding a bomb-laced ambulance detonated the explosives in the car park, which killed four Iraqi bus drivers.
He said the other one run toward the pilgrims and set off his bomb inside the crowd, which caused more casualties.
According to the official, one of the objectives of Daesh in these suicide bombings was to intimidate Shia pilgrims and dissuade them from travelling to Iraq’s holy sites.
He stressed, however, that it has failed to do so as the attack had no effect on the number of Iranians signing up to go to Iraqi holy cities for the upcoming Arbaeen march.
Ohadi said that some 1.34 million visas have been issued for Iranians who want to take part in the Arbaeen rituals in Iraq, predicting that the number will rise to more than two million.
Arbaeen marks 40 days after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and third Shia Imam.
Each year, a huge crowd of Shias march toward Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites. Many of them also visit Imam Ali’s (AS) holy shrine in Najaf.
In the past few years, around 20 million pilgrims from all over the world, including Iran, took part in the mourning ceremonies in Iraqi holy cities marking Arbaeen.
This year, Arbaeen falls on Sunday, November 20.