SHAFAQNA – Iran has called off plans for sending a Quranic delegation to Hajj, IQNA has learned.
A special exam was held at the Iranian Awqaf and Charity Affairs Organization in May, based on which members of Iran’s Quranic delegation to Hajj, named “Ambassadors of Light”, were selected.
The delegation was supposed to include Quran reciters and memorizers as well as a Tawasheeh (religious songs) group from the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan.
But now it seems that like last year, Iran will not send the “Ambassadors of Light” Quranic team to Saudi Arabia for Hajj.
There have been no reports so far on why the decision has been made.
Every year millions of Muslims from around the world gather in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, for the annual Hajj.
Iran also sends pilgrims as well as a group of Quran activists to Hajj.
The members of the delegation hold Quranic programs, including Quran recitation session for the pilgrims.
Last year, Iran did not take part in Hajj 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.
Among those killed, were some members of Iran’s Quranic delegation, including Mohsen Hajihassani Kargar and Hassan Danesh.
This year, an Iranian delegation traveled to Saudi Arabia on an invitation from Saudi Hajj ministry for talks on the Hajj pilgrimage of Iranians.
After the Saudi side agreed to the conditions set by the Islamic Republic, Iran announced that it will send some 80,000 pilgrims to Hajj.