Tehran: Iranians not allowed to go to Hajj this year

Tehran: Iranians not allowed to go to Hajj this year

Iran and Saudi Arabia could not overcome dispute over practices related to Hajj pilgrimage

ANKARA (AA) – Iran will not send pilgrims to Hajj this year due to “Saudi restrictions”, an Iranian official said on Sunday.

A delegation from Iran’s Authority for Hajj Affairs had met with Saudi officials on Tuesday for a second round of talks amid an ongoing dispute over practices related to the Hajj pilgrimage.

“Saudi Arabia refused to cooperate,” Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati said. “We could not come to an agreement during the talks.”

Saudi Arabia has denied Tehran’s claims that Iranian pilgrims were being hindered from performing Hajj, which this year will fall in September.

The dispute worsened after Iran demanded that its pilgrims be allowed to perform certain rituals during the pilgrimage.

Saudi authorities, for their part, say such practices – which include gatherings of Iranian Shia worshipers during Hajj – “hinder the movement of other pilgrims”.

Saudi Arabia officially cut its ties with Iran in January after its diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad were attacked by Iranian protesters following the execution of a prominent Shia imam – Nimr al-Nimr – by Saudi authorities.

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