Iraqi Border Ports Commission denies Iranian request to reopen borders to pilgrims

BAGHDAD – The Iraqi Border Ports Commission rejected Iranian requests to resume the visitation of Iranian pilgrims to religious shrines in Iraq. Iraq recently closed its border crossings with Iran and Kuwait over fears of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

“The Iranian Fars News Agency announced that Iran is planning to resume visiting the Iraqi holy shrines, despite the global coronavirus precautionary measures,” read a statement released from the Commission. “We confirm that our border crossings with Iran and Kuwait are totally closed to travelers’ movement and trade until further notice.”

The Commission indicated in its statement that the Higher Committee has not taken any decision to reopen the border crossings, yet. This issue depends on the data evaluation of the Iraqi Ministry of Health, due to the country’s safety measures.

The head of the Iranian Hajj and Visitation Organization, Ali Reza Rashidian, announced earlier that his organization intends to resume visits to the holy shrines in Iraq and Syria taking into account health conditions.