The Iran Project

Spokesman blames Saudis for blocking Iran Hajj pilgrimage

Hossein Jaberi Ansari

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari

Tehran, May 11, IRNA – Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari slammed Saudi Arabian officials for creating obstacles on the way of Iranian pilgrims to Hajj rituals.

In a televised interview here on Tuesday, he said there are still differences in place with the Saudis on issuing of visas for Iranian pilgrims and their transportation.

Noting that efforts are underway for the timely dispatch of Iranian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Hajj rituals, he stressed that despite Saudi claims that it is keeping away from mingling the ritual with political issues, it is refusing to take the necessary measures on the Hajj of Iranian pilgrims by resorting to all kinds of sabotaging.

However, the spokesman said, there is still time to manage the Hajj affairs for this year.

He said Saudi Arabia was sabotaging in such issues as issuance of visas for pilgrims, transportation, airline issues and security and health of pilgrims.

Noting that Saudis say visas should be issued in a third country because Riyadh has no embassy here; he said this is despite the fact that the Swiss embassy in Tehran is acting the Saudi interest section in Tehran.

Prior to this, he said, the transportation of pilgrims on Hajj occasion was done by both Iranian and Saudi airlines on a 50-50 basis while now Saudi Arabia says the task should be done via a third airliners which is a very unusual request and thus unacceptable for Iran.


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