Iran to dispatch Umrah Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia in two months

TEHRAN, Sep. 08 (MNA) – Given the good trend of negotiations between Iranian officials with Saudi Ministry of Hajj, Umrah Hajj will resume for Iranian pilgrims after month of Safar if the Saudis positively respond to Iran's proposals, according to the head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Alireza Rashidian.

Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Alireza Rashidian made the remarks at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran while talking to reporters after returning home from Saudi Arabia.

“One of our most important demands in the negotiation process has been ensuring the dignity of the safety of Iranian pilgrims, something that has been accepted by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj,” the Iranian official said.

Pointing out that they held several rounds of talks with Saudi authorities during the trip, he said "the need for consular support for Iranian pilgrims during Umrah Hajj rituals and the reopening of a consular office was one of our proposals during the negotiations.”

The top Iranian Hajj official added that establishing an Iranian Interest Section in one of the foreign embassies in Riyadh and deploying some Iranian consular officials during Hajj rituals were two topics discussed during the talks with the Saudi side.

He further criticized Saudi restrictions against the travel of its nationals to Iran, saying in the talks with Saudis, the issue had been brought up and the Iranian side had called for removal of those restrictions.

Rashidian further expressed his satisfaction with this year Hajj rituals.

Iran suspended Umrah Hajj for Iranian pilgrims after two Saudi officers sexually abused two Iranian young boys in Jeddah airport back in 2015. The two Saudi officers were later found guilty of their crime. Since then, Iran has conditioned Umrah Hajj on guaranteeing the safety and respecting the dignity of its pilgrims on the Saudi soil.

In addition, at least 464 Iranians lost their lives in Mina stampede during Hajj in 2015, which claimed as many as 2,400 lives.

The tragedy came days after a massive construction crane collapsed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 people. Eleven Iranian pilgrims lost their lives in that incident. 

KI/IRN83469291

News Code 149854

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