Iraq to reduce visa charges for Iranian pilgrims

BAGHDAD — Iraq is reducing visa charges for Iranian pilgrims who visit to mark a major religious occasion later this year.

The reduction will only apply to pilgrims of the "Arbaeen," the anniversary of the passage of 40 days after the death of the deeply revered Shiite Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.

News of the reduction of the visa charges, which are normally $40, was posted on the government's website Tuesday. It did not say how much the reduction will be.

The move followed this week's cancellation by Iran of a visit by Iraq's prime minister, who apparently angered Tehran by saying Iraq will heed the latest U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Haider al-Abadi sought to soften his stance Monday, saying Baghdad will only observe the ban on transactions in dollars.

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