Iran Cancels Hajj Pilgrimage due to Saudi Obstacles
Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati announced on Sunday that Iranians cannot make their Hajj pilgrimage rituals this year due to the obstacles made by Saudi Arabian officials.
Speaking in a local gathering, Jannati reiterated that the decision has been made following Riyadh’s behavior with Iranian delegation who traveled to Saudi Arabia to negotiate about this year Hajj rituals.
The minister regretted that the Iranian pilgrims could not be dispatched to this year Hajj rituals.
“We waited for the response of Saudi officials until today, but given their behavior in the two rounds of negotiations with an Iranian delegation and the obstructions they have created, Iranian pilgrims cannot perform the rituals this year,” said the minister.
He added that Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization would issue an announcement on cancellation of this year Hajj rituals tomorrow.
Meanwhile, head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi said today ( May 29) was Saudi Arabia’s last chance to accept Tehran’s conditions for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
Ohadi stated that if Riyadh does not accept Tehran’s conditions and send the agreement, Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization and the Supreme Leader Representative Office in Hajj and Pilgrimage Affairs would issue an announcement on this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
“During the last meeting we had with Saudi officials on this year Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi Hajj minister did not attend and then in a telephone conversation asked us to sign the deal, adding he is committed to meet Iran’s demands fully, but we did not sign the agreement,” Ohadi added.
Last week, an Iranian delegation traveled to Saudi Arabia at the official invitation of new Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten to hold last-ditch talks with the Arab kingdom’s officials on the dispatch of Iranian pilgrims to the annual rituals in September.
Ahead of the visit, Iran sent the Saudi side a letter listing its rightful demands as well as its propositions aimed at ensuring safety for Iranian nationals.
Ohadi said that the Saudi delegation has revealed that it does not have the necessary power to make the final decision on the disputed points, and it showed that other parts in the Saudi government were directly involved in dictating the terms of this year’s Hajj agreement.
In the worst ever tragedy during Hajj, more than 460 Iranians were among the thousands of pilgrims who died on September 24, 2015 in a crush in Mina, near Mecca.