Speculation on Renewed Hajj Ban Denied

Speculation on Renewed Hajj Ban DeniedSpeculation on Renewed Hajj Ban Denied

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman denied rumors that Iranians will be again barred from making hajj pilgrimage in the next summer, saying the final decision will be made after a possible invitation from Saudi Arabia and talks. In an interview with ISNA, Bahram Qasemi denied reports that Iranian pilgrims will not be allowed to perform the upcoming hajj, an Islamic ritual held annually in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. At a press conference on Monday, the spokesman announced that Iran had not yet received a formal invitation from Saudi Arabia to discuss the next summer’s hajj, Tasnim News Agency reported. Saudis have sent invitation letters to 80 countries, but not Iran, Qasemi said, expecting that “we will have no plan for hajj pilgrimage this year.” More than 460 Iranians were among thousands of pilgrims who died on September 24, 2015, in a crush of people in Mina, near Mecca, during hajj pilgrimage. Tensions ran high between Tehran and Riyadh after the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, and a subsequent attack by outraged Iranian protesters on Saudi missions in Iran, which resulted in the Arab country’s decision to sever ties with the Islamic Republic. In 2016, Saudi Arabia barred all Iranians from making the hajj pilgrimage.

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