Iran Rejects Speculation about Hajj
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman denied rumors that Iranians will be again barred from making Hajj pilgrimage this summer, saying the final decision remains to be made after a possible invitation from Saudi Arabia and subsequent talks.
In an interview with ISNA, Bahram Qassemi denied reports that Iranian pilgrims will not be allowed in the upcoming Hajj, a great Islamic ritual held every year in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
At a press conference on Monday, the spokesman had announced that Iran has not still received a formal invitation from Saudi Arabia for the next year’s Hajj.
Saudis have sent invitation letters to 80 countries, but not Iran, Qassemi had said, expecting that “we will have no plan for Hajj pilgrimage this year.”
More than 460 Iranians were among some 7,000 pilgrims who died on September 24, 2015, in a crush of people in Mina, near Mecca, during Hajj pilgrimage.
The incident marked the worst ever tragedy during Hajj.
In 2016, Saudi Arabia barred all Iranians from making Hajj pilgrimage.
Tensions ran high between Tehran and Riyadh after Saudi Arabia’s execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, and a subsequent attack by outraged Iranian protesters on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which resulted in the Arab country’s decision to sever its ties with the Islamic Republic.