Hajj visas for Iranian pilgrims so far

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 30, 2017

Iran flies a first group of its pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia since the kingdom ruptured diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic and withheld cooperation towards enabling Iranians to partake in the rituals.

The official went on to say that following coordination with Iran Air, it will operate about three fourth of the flights. It then prevented Iranians from joining the religiously-momentous rituals that year by refusing to set up an ad hoc mechanism enabling their travel to the kingdom.

Earlier in July, Iran's Culture Minister Reza Salehi Amiri said Riyadh had provided "written assurances" that it would meet all of Tehran's conditions with regard to ensuring security for Iranian pilgrims in the upcoming Hajj ceremony.

In 2016, more than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj, but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.

He was referring to a deadly stampede near the Islamic holy city of Mecca in September 2015, during which hundreds of pilgrims, including 464 Iranians, were killed and hundreds more injured.

The crush was the deadliest incident in the history of the pilgrimage. According to an Associated Press count based on official statements from the 36 countries that lost citizens in the disaster, more than 2,400 pilgrims were killed in the incident.

Saudi Arabia claims almost 770 people were killed, but officials at Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people, including over 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.

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