Arba’een is a Shia mourning ceremony held at the shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) in Karbala, Iraq.
The event was named the biggest human gathering of all history when it drew some 20 million mourners from various countries in 2015. The religious observation falls on October 20 this year.
Those who have not applied on the special website designed for the purpose will not be allowed to go on the pilgrimage, Mohsen Nezafati, a Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization official, said on Sunday.
This year the fee that they have to pay for the visa is $40, plus 250,000 rials (about $7) for medical insurance, he said.
Last year and the year before situations verged on chaos around border checkpoints between Iran and Iraq as huge numbers of people stormed the passages to go to Karbala. Official records said over 2 million Iranians visited Karbala for Arba’een in 2015. But nonofficial reports said many people made the pilgrimage without a visa.
This year no one will be able to go on the journey without acquiring a visa and signing up on the website, the official underlined.
Many saw last year’s Arba’een as a show of solidarity in the face of repeated terrorist attacks by Daesh which still holds swathes of land in Iraq.