Tehran, Iran, May 13
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Iranian officials are saying that they will not send Iranians to hajj pilgrimage this year because of what they call Saudi Arabia's non-cooperation.
The National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament has decided that under current circumstances Iran will not participate in the hajj, said the committee member Mansour Haqiqatpour, the Mizan news agency reported May 13.
The Iranian-Saudi row follows the burning down of the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which ended in Riyadh deciding to close the embassy.
Now Iran has put four conditions for Saudi Arabia in order to send Iranians to the hajj, namely that Saudi Arabia should guarantee the security of Iranian pilgrims, Iranian aviation fleet should be used to take the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, visas should be issued for the pilgrims inside Iran, and finally, consular services be available to Iranians in Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh has refused to issue visas for Iranians inside Iran, stressing that Iranians can only acquire visas to Saudi Arabia in a third country.
In the meantime, the chairman of the same parliamentary commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said on Friday that Iran will not have Riyadh put conditions for it.
"Saudi Arabia is in no position to put conditions for us. This is us who have to put conditions for them, because experience has shown that Saudi Arabia does not have the ability to keep our pilgrims safe," he said.
Also recently, prominent Iranian cleric Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi called on Iranians not to participate in the hajj under the current conditions, saying it will be against their dignity if Iranian pilgrims visit a third country to receive their visas.