Iran pilgrims to join this year's Hajj: Saudi Arabia
Iranian pilgrims, after an absence last year during tensions between the regional rivals, will participate in this year's annual Hajj, Saudi Arabia on Friday said.
"The ministry of hajj and the Iranian organisation have completed all the necessary measures to ensure Iranian pilgrims perform hajj 1438 according to the procedures followed by all Muslim countries," the official Saudi Press Agency said, referring to this year in the Islamic calendar.
For the first time in nearly three decades, Iran's pilgrims — which would have numbered about 60,000 — did not attend the Hajj in 2016 after the two countries failed to agree on security and logistics. Riyadh and Tehran have no diplomatic relations, and tensions remain as Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia repeatedly accuses Iran of fuelling regional conflicts by supporting armed Shia movements in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain. But the Saudi Hajj ministry said the kingdom welcomes "all pilgrims from all the different nationalities and backgrounds". Custodian of Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia organises the annual Hajj, one of Islam's five pillars which every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to undertake.