The Iranian officials in charge of conducting Hajj held a meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei at the Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah of Tehran on Wednesday.
The meeting was held prior to the Iranian Hajj pilgrims starting their journey to Saudi Arabia to perform the 2022 Hajj pilgrimage.
In remarks at the event, the Leader hailed the resumption of Hajj pilgrimage after two years as a major annunciation, saying God Almighty has once again enabled Iranian and foreign pilgrims to perform the sacred ritual.
Describing coexistence as an important characteristic of the Hajj pilgrimage, Ayatollah Khamenei said the religious event provides an opportunity for the pilgrims to get acquainted with the other ones with different cultures, nationalities, colors and languages.
The problems that humans face in the world today, not Muslims alone, have arisen because people do not know how to coexist peacefully and begin to bully and harm each other, the Leader noted, adding that Hajj teaches the pilgrims coexistence during a limited period.
Ayatollah Khamenei described simple life as another teaching of Hajj, saying that many troubles and miseries are triggered by excessive demands, aristocracy, and luxurious lifestyle which are wasting a huge amount of wealth in the globe.
Describing Hajj as the “symbol of unity of the Islamic Ummah”, the Leader emphasized the need to maintain such unity and deplored the attempts to create division between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
Ayatollah Khamenei also reminded Saudi Arabia that Mecca belongs to all Muslims, stressing that the Saudi government must act considering the Islamic world’s expediency, not only its own.
The Leader also called on Saudi Arabia to protect the safety of the pilgrims and prevent the recurrence of the past catastrophes.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei denounced Zionism as the most pressing disaster to the Islamic world, warning the Arab governments which have established ties with the Zionist regime that such a move will be to the detriment of them.
Highlighting the popular opposition to the normalization of ties with the Zionist regime, the Leader said what compels certain governments to hold talks with the Zionists is the US’ demands and pressures.
Iranian pilgrims did not attend Hajj in 2020 and 2021 in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2016, more than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj, but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.
On September 2, 2015, thousands of people lost their lives in the deadly crush after Saudi authorities blocked a road in Mina during a ritual, forcing large crowds of pilgrims to collide.
The crush was the deadliest incident in the history of the pilgrimage. According to an Associated Press count based on official statements from the 36 countries that lost citizens in the disaster, more than 2,400 pilgrims were killed in the incident.
Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed, but officials at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people, including over 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.