Political issues hinder Iranian Hajj Pilgrims: Top cleric

September 7, The Iran Project – A senior Iranian cleric says political issues hindered Iranian Hajj pilgrims, stressing that this is resulted from Saudi rulers’ mismanagement.

Referring to the Saudis’ mismanagement in governing the Two Holy Mosques, Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi said on Wednesday that the Two Holy Mosques belong to all Muslims and Islamic scholars should choose a group to manage Hajj and the mosques.

It has proven that Saudi Arabia cannot manage the Two Holy Mosques alone so it should be raised in Muslim communities that all Muslims are responsible to govern the
Hajj.

In his message on the occasion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage released on Monday, Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei urged Muslims around the world to reconsider Saudi Arabia’s custodianship and management of Islam’s holiest sites, including in Mecca where the Hajj is performed.

The Leader blamed Riyadh for its poor management of last year’s Hajj and urged Muslims to correctly understand their (Saudis’) blasphemous, faithless, dependent and materialistic nature.

An Iranian delegation recently traveled to Saudi Arabia at the official invitation of new Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten to discuss arrangements for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage months after a deadly crush in Mina which killed hundreds of pilgrims last September.

Thd Iran’s delegation said Riyadh was refusing to accept conditions to guarantee the safety and dignity of Iranian pilgrims.

Hundreds of people lost their lives in the deadly incident in Mina which took place on September 24, 2015 when two large masses of pilgrims converged at a crossroads during the symbolic ceremony of the stoning of Satan in Jamarat.

Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed in the incident, but officials at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people, including more than 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.

The AP record says more than 2,400 pilgrims died in the incident.