Following months of talks between Iran and Riyadh over hajj pilgrimage, Iran says it plans to send at least 80,000 nationals to Saudi Arabia for the 2017 hajj pilgrimage provided that the remaining issues are resolved in the ongoing talks with Riyadh.
Ali Qazi-Askar, representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia on the hajj pilgrimage of Iranians have been successful and that most disputed issues have been resolved through talks.
He further expressed the hope that the remaining issues would be resolved in coming days.
Qazi-Askar said if the issues are completely resolved, Tehran and Riyadh will witness the dispatch of Iranian nationals for hajj pilgrimage.
“In the next (Iranian) year, we will dispatch at least 80,000 Hajj pilgrims to the Land of Revelation (Mecca),” he said.
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia were severed after thousands of people, many of them Iranians, died in a stampede at the 2015 hajj rituals, as two large masses of pilgrims converged at a crossroads during the symbolic ceremony of the stoning of Satan in Jamarat.
As disagreements arose between Tehran and Riyadh, Iran said it would not dispatch pilgrims to Saudi Arabi in 2016 because Saudi Arabia declined to guarantee their safety.