Iran says it has finally received Saudi hajj invite

Published: January 10, 2017
Pilgrims gather on Mount Arafat, where Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammed delivered his final hajj sermon. PHOTO: AFP

Pilgrims gather on Mount Arafat, where Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammed delivered his final hajj sermon. PHOTO: AFP

TEHRAN: Iran said Tuesday it had finally received an official invitation from Saudi Arabia for its pilgrims to attend this year’s hajj, two weeks after Riyadh announced it.

There was no official Iranian delegation at last year’s pilgrimage to the Muslim holy places after Saudi Arabia severed relations with Iran following the torching of its missions in Tehran and Mashhad by protesters last January.

Iran denies receiving Saudi invite for hajj talks

It was the first time in three decades that Iranian pilgrims had been absent and the culmination of years of worsening relations over the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

The tone is “not that much different from past letters”, hajj affairs representative Ali Ghazi Askar said, adding that Iran would respond in the coming days.

“All matters regarding the hajj – including accommodation, food, medical affairs, transport, pilgrims’ security, banking and consular issues – must immediately be studied and appropriate solutions put forward.”

Negotiations for Iranian pilgrims to join last year’s hajj broke down over the questions of where their visas should be issued and how their security could be assured following the deaths of 464 in a stampede at the 2015 hajj.

Saudi invites rival Iran for talks on hajj return

The Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper reported on December 30th that Saudi Pilgrimage Minister Mohammed Bentin had opened discussions with more than 80 countries, including Iran, on the arrangements for the 2017 hajj.

There was no immediate word on when or where the discussions might take place.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • zaheer ahmed
    Jan 10, 2017 - 3:11PM

    It is good for both annoyed brother, muslim and neighboring countries. The enemies are fond to create differences among both brothers. The Allah almighty has ordered in the holy book” Don’t quarrel with each other” and ” And if you hold the rope of Allah, you will never ever drown”. and ” If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favour, but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe”.
    Kindness among Muslims brother is a virtual bleesing. Wisdom is not an excuse……. It is a blessing that knocks on some door but stay with those who keep it quietly and wisely…….Stay humble and stay blessed. Recommend

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