News ID: 216889
Published: 0243 GMT June 18, 2018

Iran to open office in Saudi Arabia ahead of Hajj

Iran to open office in Saudi Arabia ahead of Hajj

Preliminary agreements have been made to open an office in Saudi Arabia to solve potential problems facing Iranians during the Hajj pilgrimage, said the head of Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization on Monday.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations, but every year thousands of Iranians travel to Mecca and Medina to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, IRNA reported.

This year, 85,200 Iranians will attend the Hajj ceremony and about 3,000 assistants, including office workers, doctors, service workers, and transportation and residence workers will accompany them, said Hameed Mohammadi.

Flights from Iran to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage start on July 18.

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia first soured after a deadly human crush during the Hajj rituals in September 2015, when hundreds of Iranian pilgrims among others lost their lives.

Tensions further escalated a few months later following the kingdom’s execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Riyadh cut off diplomatic ties with Tehran in January 2016 following angry protests in front of its diplomatic premises in the cities of Tehran and Mashhad against the execution.



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