Iranian mission introduced to Saudi Arabia for Hajj talks: Official

Tasnim– The names of members of an Iranian delegation slated to travel to Saudi Arabia on February 23 for talks on the Hajj pilgrimage of Iranians later this year have been given to the Arab country, a senior official said.

“Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization has announced the names of members of the Iranian delegation to the Saudi side for the talks with Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah,” Ali Qazi-Askar, the representative of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Hajj and pilgrimage affairs, said.

He further expressed the hope that the negotiations would yield good results and lead to the successful management of Hajj pilgrimage.

Earlier this month, Qazi-Askar confirmed that Iran had received an invitation from Saudi Arabia for talks on the 2017 Hajj pilgrimage.

More than 1.8 million faithful took part in last year’s Hajj, but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.

On September 24, 2015, thousands of people lost their lives in the crush after Saudi authorities blocked a road in Mina during a ritual, forcing large crowds of pilgrims to collide.

The crush was the deadliest incident in the history of the pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed in the incident, but officials at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 7,000 people, including over 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.