The chairman of the Arbaeen central headquarters of Iran said on Sunday that over 2.6 million Iranian pilgrims have so far crossed the border into Iraq.
Majid Mirahmadi also noted that 600,000 Iranian pilgrims have returned to the country after making the pilgrimage.
On Friday morning, Iran closed all land border crossings used by the pilgrims for traveling to Iraq following a massive influx of travelers and growing concerns about their health.
Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said a huge number of pilgrims have flocked to the land borders since Thursday, while Iraq lacks the necessary capacities to allow them entry.
The minister also called on the Iranian pilgrims who have plans to travel to Iraq to postpone their departure and refrain from heading for the border until further notice.
High temperatures, a shortage of means of transportation in Iraq, and difficulty in access to drinking water have exposed many pilgrims to sunstroke in the border areas.
Iranian officials have predicted that a total of five million pilgrims will travel to Iraq during this year’s Arbaeen season.