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News > Statement by the Embassy of the I. R. of Iran

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Statement by the Embassy of the I. R. of Iran

Statement by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran on failure by Saudi Arabia to facilitate Hajj pilgrimage for Iranian nationals:


Iranians Unable to Perform Hajj This Year


The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, takes its obligation to facilitate performance of Hajj by its citizens very seriously. In this regard months of painstaking preparations are necessary to ensure that requirements including registrations, visas, transport, board and lodging, safety and security, consular services and medical assistance are in place.

As a first step to reach an agreement with the Saudi government on these and other issues for 2016 Hajj an Iranian delegation was scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia in February 2016. Unfortunately due to the Saudis inaction, visas were not obtained, thereby delaying the visit by three months. A follow-up delegation visit was also delayed by 45 days until a new Hajj Minister was appointed in Saudi Arabia.

Iran has always sought not to allow political considerations interfere with religious functions including Hajj. It therefore, pursued a non-political approach to reach an amicable understanding with the host nation to ensure a safe and dignified Hajj performance for the Iranian citizens.

The insistence by Saudi authorities that Iranian pilgrims only travel to Saudi Arabia on non-Iranian airline carriers, and that they obtain their visas in a third country proved a major obstacle for logistical reasons as well as time and cost factors.

Iranian authorities have consistently maintained that the issue of ensuring the safety of pilgrims is paramount for Tehran due to the fact that last year in the tragic crane collapse and the deadliest Hajj disaster in history at Mena, thousands of pilgrims including several hundred Iranians were killed.

It should be noted that a proposed formula to open an Iranian Interest Section in Saudi Arabia to provide consular services to Iranian pilgrims during Hajj was agreed with Switzerland, representing Saudi interests in Iran. The proposal  presented to the Saudis over three months ago but was not given due consideration.  

Iran was still hopeful that negotiations would eventually lead to the resolution of the problems to allow Iranian pilgrims attend Hajj this year. It therefore tried hard to conduct negotiations in an amicable and discrete manner. But, regrettably a combination of Saudi delaying actions including insistence on irrelevant demands and failure to accept their security-related responsibilities resulted in the loss of valuable time needed to arrange logistics for such a large number of pilgrims, thus bringing about a situation where performance of Hajj 2016 for Iranian became an impossible task.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has had no intention to turn a purely religious affair into an issue of contention. However, in view of the recent disinformation campaign, it was deemed appropriate to issue this statement in order to set the record straight. It is hoped that the obligation to facilitate the performance of a mandatory religious duty by Iranian Muslims would be met without undue political considerations.






23:14 - 02/06/2016    /    Number : 396061    /    Show Count : 1040


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