IRNA – Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi-Amiri said that a five-member Iranian delegation will visit Saudi Arabia on February 23 to discuss Tehran views on Hajj pilgrimage with the Saudi officials.
The minister made the announcement while addressing a press conference in this southwestern provincial capital city on Thursday evening.
Salehi-Amiri said that the visit will be made following the demand and correspondences made by the Saudi officials.
He underscored that if the two sides reach an agreement, the way would be paved for the resumption of Iranians’ participation in the next annual Hajj pilgrimage in 2017.
The minister added the during their upcoming meeting with the Saudi officials, the Iranian delegation will discuss Tehran’s conditions for participating the next Hajj congregation.
Salehi-Amiri referred to ensuring the Iranian pilgrims dignity and security during the next Hajj as Tehran’s strategy and top priority.
About 500 Iranian pilgrims were killed during a stampede in 2015 Hajj annual congregation when, according to reports, two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, on their way to performing the ‘Stoning of the Devil’ ritual at Jamarat.
The Iranian pilgrims couldn’t attend the great religious ritual in 2016 as the Saudi officials failed to ensure their security based on provisions made by the Iranian officials after the tragic incident in its previous year.
The annual Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam which devout Muslims must perform at least once during their lifetime.
The event initiated an international wave to condemn the incompetence and mismanagement of the Saudi officials in administrating Muslims largest annual ritual.