"Many at the grassroots level of Iranian society want good, stable relations between Iran and Iraq because of their cultural-religious priorities, which include having the freedom to visit the sacred cities of Karbala and Najaf. This strong interest exists on the Iraqi side, too. In summer 2006, for instance, some 3,000 visas were issued daily by Iranian consulates in Baghdad, Basra and Najaf for Iraqi pilgrims to visit Mashhad and Qom and other sacred places inside Iran. Since the opening of borders following the removal of the Baathist regime, the Iranian government has been under pressure to preserve an adequate amount of cooperation with Iraqi authorities to secure the routes of pilgrims to the Shia areas and to provide public services. Simultaneously, the families of those who lost their lives in the Iran-Iraq War would like the government to pursue a policy towards Iraq that ensures that the victims were not killed in vain. It is worth noting that the painful memory of the war pervades Iranian society, thus affecting policy options. Trade with Iraq is also a priority. Iranian merchants and businessmen consider certain parts of Iraq, especially predominantly Shia areas such as Basra, to be ideal markets for Iranian exports. Some estimates consider the range of economic activities about $5 billion annually."