TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates’ Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said the safety of Iranian pilgrims should be guaranteed before the Islamic Republic restarts the Umrah (minor) Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
“If the safety (of Iranian pilgrims) is guaranteed, a logical and reasonable atmosphere is established and people witness the punishment of the offenders, naturally, we will be willing to resume the Umrah pilgrimage,” Qashqavi said in an interview with Al-Alam News Network.
Iran suspended the Umrah Hajj pilgrimage in April in the wake of molestation of two Iranian teenage pilgrims at Jeddah airport.
The Iranian teenage boys were harassed by two Saudi officers at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport when the offenders took them away during body search, citing suspicion.
The two criminal police officers were tried at Jeddah’s Criminal Court earlier this month.
Qashqavi noted that at the trial, which was attended by Iran’s consul general, Jeddah’s attorney general called for the death penalty for the two officers.
He added that Saudi officials, including Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, have stressed the Arab country’s resolve to punish the offenders.