Iran suspends Umrah after teen abuse in Jeddah
Tehran, Iran, Apr. 13
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Iranian Minister of Culture Ali Jannati has announced that Umrah pilgrimage for Iranians is suspended.
The move follows misconduct by Saudi security guards at Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport sexually harassing two teenage boys on pilgrimage from Iran.
Jannati said that the Iranian Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization is ordered to suspend Umrah for Iranians until Saudi government punishes the two security guards, Iran's state-run IRINN TV reported April 13.
The incident has marred the national dignity of Iranians and there's a public demand in Iran for action, he stated.
He pointed to previous examples when Iranian's in Saudi Arabia had been mistreated in other ways and noted that Iranian clerics have also expressed concern over the issue.
About two weeks ago two Iranian teenagers were reportedly sexually abused after they were separated from their families at the Jeddah airport and taken into an office for, as the guards claimed, investigation.
Iran has demanded swift action over the issue.
Saudi Arabian officials have said that the two border guards responsible for the incident are under arrest and awaiting punishment, which may even be death sentences.
Edited by CN