Iranian teams in Riyadh to discuss Hajj preparations: Official

Tasnim – The representative of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Hajj and pilgrimage affairs said Iran’s expert teams have traveled to Saudi Arabia to discuss preparations for the next annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Several expert teams have been dispatched to Saudi Arabia to supply essential services to pilgrims and help pave the way for over 80,000 nationals to take part in the upcoming Hajj rituals, Hojjatoleslam Seyed Ali Qazi-Askar said on Saturday in a meeting with the head of Iran’s Research Institute for Hajj and Pilgrimage.

He further attached importance to identifying the needs of the pilgrims and called on the research institute to take practical and strategic measures in order to address the needs and problems of the rituals’ participants.

Iran plans to send nearly 86,000 nationals to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage this summer.

An Iranian delegation traveled to Saudi Arabia on February 23 for the talks on the Hajj pilgrimage of Iranians.

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.