Shalamcha Border Crossing. REUTERS./

 – Iran reopened its border with Iraq to travellers on Tuesday shortly after Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on his supporters to withdraw from the streets, state media reported.

Tehran had closed its borders and halted flights to Iraq amid an eruption of violence in the neighbouring country following Sadr’s announcement on Monday that he would quit politics. Read full story

Millions of Iranians travel to the Iraqi city of Kerbala every year for the ritual of Arbaeen, which marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, Imam Hussein. Arbaeen falls on Sept. 16-17 this year.

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2022-08-09T054906Z_79915238_RC2QSV904WS3_RTRMADP_3_IRAQ-RELIGION-ASHURA
SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB. Supporters of Iraqi populist leader Moqtada al-Sadr gash their heads with blades during a ceremony marking Ashura, the holiest day on the Shi'ite Muslim calendar, at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq August 9, 2022.

REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

“As security and calm have been restored in Iraq, all borders are open now,” state TV quoted an Iranian official as saying.

Earlier, state TV said Iran had halted all flights to Iraq “until further notice because of the ongoing unrest”.

“We are trying to arrange an emergency flight to bring back Iranians from Iraq and Baghdad who are currently at the airport. We hope to evacuate them today,” state TV cited a senior aviation authority as saying.


(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Gareth Jones and Jason Neely)


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