Iran, Saudi Arabia talk on Hajj ritual

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SHAFAQNA – Senior Iranian and Saudi officials discussed on Wednesday ways to facilitate this year’s Hajj for the Iranian pilgrims.

According to Saudi media, the talks were held in Saudi Arabia by caretaker of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Hamid Mohammadi and Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Mohammed bin Saleh bin Tahir Benten.

The negotiations focused on providing due services for the Iranian pilgrims who are to attend the Hajj rituals in 2017.

Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi-Amiri has recently reiterated that ensuring the pilgrims’ security, paying the blood money to the families of those who were killed during the 2015 Hajj stampede and preserving the Iranian pilgrims’ dignity are Iran’s conditions for attending the Hajj congregations.

On March 5, Salehi-Amiri announced that Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed on some issues regarding this year’s Hajj congregation.

Iranian pilgrims couldn’t attend the great religious ritual in 2016 as the Saudi officials failed to ensure security for them based on provisions made by the Iranian officials after the tragic incident in 2015.

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.

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