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  • » 03/18/2017, 09.39

    SAUDI ARABIA - IRAN

    Deal with Riyadh: green light for Iranian pilgrimages to Mecca



    Last year’s crisis, which blocked the travel of Iranian faithful to the Muslim holy site, seems to have been overcome. At least 80 thousand citizens of the Islamic Republic expected to participate in most important pilgrimage. Iranian Foreign Minister: "Constructive" relations with countries, including Saudi Arabia.

    Teheran (AsiaNews) – Having overcome last year’s crisis, which effectively blocked the travel of Iranian pilgrims to the holy places of Islam, Tehran is ready to seal a deal with Riyadh to send Iranian citizens to Mecca for the Hajj. The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaking on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting, confirmed the willingness of the Islamic Republic to establish "constructive" relations with the countries of the region, including Saudi Arabia.

    The head of Tehran's diplomacy stressed that, thanks to the efforts by the Organization for the Hajj pilgrimage, Iran is in favor of sending compatriots to the nation considered its greatest rival in the Middle East. The decision is the result of the diplomatic work and mediation undertaken by representatives from Tehran and Riyadh in the body that regulates the trips to Mecca, visited each year by millions of believers from around the world.

    Following the agreements reached, Iran hopes that this year the faithful departing from the Islamic Republic can enjoy a "calm, perfect and dignified" atmosphere during their pilgrimage. On 23 February a Tehran delegation went to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the kingdom for further talks to iron out the remaining details.

    Last year more than 1.8 million faithful attended Hajj minus the Iranian faithful, following a harsh verbal and diplomatic row between Riyadh and Tehran, exacerbated by regional political events that have overlapping religious and spiritual elements.

    According to forecasts, this year "at least" 80 thousand faithful Iranians could participate in the great pilgrimage to Mecca. In addition to Iran, the preparatory meetings of the Saudi organizers – to discuss the issue of visas and accommodation of pilgrims on site - involve delegates from more than 80 Muslim majority countries.

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    See also

    30/05/2016 12:13:00 SAUDI ARABIA - IRAN
    Last efforts at negotiation between Riyadh and Tehran fails. No Iranian Hajj pilgrims

    For the first time in 30 years no citizen of the Islamic Republic will participate in the most important Muslim pilgrimage. Iran says insurmountable "obstacles" have been placed in the way, Riyadh wants to "block the path that leads to Allah." Saudis says the conditions posed by Tehran are "unacceptable."

     



    26/05/2016 10:04:00 SAUDI ARABIA - IRAN
    Riyadh: "Positive" talks with Tehran for Iranian Hajj pilgrims

    Another round of talks between the Iranian delegation and a Saudi representative held yesterday. Discussions focus on visa process for Iranian pilgrims. Deal expected within the next few days. Diplomatic tension between the two regional powers remains high.



    12/05/2016 12:03:00 IRAN -SAUDI ARABIA
    Riyadh and Tehran in standoff . This year no Iranian Hajj pilgrims

    Iranian Minister of Culture blames Saudis "cold and inappropriate attitude". Claims Riyadh "sabotage" to prevent participation in most important pilgrimage. Now it's "too late" for a fallback solution. Failure to reach agreement over issuing of visas.

     



    07/09/2016 16:21:00 SAUDI ARABIA – IRAN
    Religion as a political weapon in the war between Saudi Arabia and Iran

    A new chapter has begun in the confrontation between the two main Muslim camps. For Saudi grand mufti, Iranians "are not Muslims." Iranian Foreign Minister slams Saudi Wahhabis as preachers of terrorism. A dispute over Iranian Hajj pilgrims triggered the spat with the struggle for supremacy within Islam and the Middle East in the background.



    05/09/2016 15:45:00 IRAN – SAUDI ARABIA
    Khamenei against the " blasphemous, faithless” Saudis, “puny satans” in the hands of the US

    On the eve of the greater Hajj from which Iranian pilgrims are excluded, Iran’s Grand Ayatollah attacks the leadership in Riyadh, appealing to Muslims to reconsider "the management of the holy places." In the background lies the confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia for supremacy in the Middle East (and Islam).





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