The Iraqi city of Kerbala is a popular destination for shi’ite pilgrims, often drawing in thousands every year, with many coming from neighboring Iran.
But a plunge in Iran’s currency, due to western sanctions, has been a blow to the thousands of Iranian pilgrims who make up the backbone of religious tourism in the city.
Traders say business is slow, and those who can afford to travel to Iraq say the country is expensive for them, “Our problem is the exchange rate, we could not shop and buy presents because it is very expensive. The rate of the rial has dropped so we could not shop because the price of goods is higher than our purchasing power,” said Iranian pilgrim Abbas Najfi.
‘‘We have many problems here because everything is expensive, including the prices of transportation,” added another Iranian pilgrim Kifani Kuwaini.
Due to Iran’s currency crisis, neighboring Iraq has emerged as an important source for dollars, especially as business ties have been growing rapidly.
Since the fall of Iraq’s Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, its Shi’ite-led government has brought the country closer to Shi’ite power Iran.
Although Iraqi money changers are making profits from supplying dollars to Iran, some merchants now refuse to accept Iranian currency from travelers, preferring the safety of U.S dollars,
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر