Last night of 2016 Muharram mourning ceremonies

When was Ayatollah Khamenei's last pilgrimage to Karbala?

The last time Ayatollah Khamenei made a pilgrimage to Karbala was in 1957, he was 18 years old. About 58 years ago, Ayatollah Khamenei, his mother, brother, and a few of his relatives left for Iraq to visit family members living in Najaf. In Najaf, he would attend lectures by scholars and teachers of Najaf Seminary School, but upon his father’s request, Sayyid Ali Khamenei returned to Mashhad after two months.

In 1968, once again, he decided to make the pilgrimage to Karbala. The office in charge of issuing passports sent his passport application to SAVAK (Pahlavi intelligence service) and made an inquiry for the issuance of his passport.

SAVAK replied: “The aforesaid uses every opportunity to stimulate people and does not abide by any principles nor his commitments. His request for traveling to Iraq shall be rejected.” And so, it happened. The ban on his traveling outside Iran remained in effect--until the Islamic Revolution. After the Islamic Revolution he has not had the opportunity nor the possibility of making the pilgrimage to Karbala.