Iran and Saudi Arabia discuss Hajj
A Saudi minister held talks with an Iranian delegation in the city of Jeddah about the possibility of Iranian pilgrims rejoining the annual Hajj.
The kingdom’s minister in charge of pilgrimages, Mohammed Bentin, discussed with the Iranians “arrangements concerning participation of the Iranian faithful in this year’s Hajj,” the official Saudi Press Agency said.
The talks occurred in the context of meetings organised by the pilgrimage ministry with various countries about accommodation and other logistics for the Hajj, which will take place around early September. 2016.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have had no diplomatic ties since January
For the first time in nearly three decades, Iran’s pilgrims did not attend last year’s Hajj after the regional rivals failed to agree on security and logistics. Tensions remain as Saudi Arabia repeatedly accuses Iran of fuelling regional conflicts by supporting armed movements in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.
Iran rejects the accusations and says Riyadh must stop its support for “terrorists” like the ISIS group and Al Qaeda. But Saudi media reported in December that Bentin had invited Iran to discuss arrangements for this year’s pilgrimage.