SAUDI ARABIA’S HAJJ OBSTACLE FOR IRAN


27/11/2016





Former Iranian ambassador in Turkey Mohammed Rýza Bagheri arrived in Ankara to meet with Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez, president of presidency of religious affairs. After the meeting, Bagheri held a press conference and made statements regarding the subject of Hajj tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran.Mohammed Rýza Bagheri had served as ambassador of Iran in Turkey between the years of 1989-1997. He was called to Foreign Affairs Ministry and was protested in the 28 February in 1997 when it was a turning point in the history of Turkish politics. “64.000 Iranians are waiting to go for Hajj”The relation between Saudi Arabia and Iran was tense in the beginning of the 2016 and after now bilateral relations worsen due to the Hajj incident. “This year we signed necessary agreements for Iranians to attend Islamic pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran due to political reasons and raised difficulties for duty of pilgrimage. Saudi Arabian authorities always state that the most regular pilgrims are Iranian pilgrims. This year, these regular pilgrims have been denied the privilege to attend the hajj this year by Saudi Arabia government. Saudi Arabia declared the reason of the denial of Iranian pilgrims this year and unfortunately political reasons affected duty of Hajj, the most important worship and mandatory religious duty for Muslims. We and Iranian pilgrims lost 5 month and Saudi Arabia government delayed its response. ” said Mohammed Rýza Bagheri in the press statement by underlying that the reason why Iranians cannot attend Islamic pilgrimage is political.“We even did not receive an apology for the last year’s incident.”Following the statement, former ambassador Rýza Bagheri received the questions. “We proposed several things related to security of the pilgrims to Ministry of Hajj in Saudi Arabia. We send near 20 proposals by letters. We wanted to offer our help to put things in order. We did not want to evoke something that will be an obstacle to pilgrims. In addition, Saudi Arabians answered us as ‘We establish a Committee in order to investigate the incident and learn the truth. Later we will submit this Committee’s report to you.’ We as Iran stated that several months had past and we never received a reply. However, there were numerous cameras around the area where the incident happened. We ask compensations for dead pilgrims. All of these did not prevent the organization of Hajj ceremony. This year they did not wanted us to be here because of the tense relations.” said Bagheri in response to a questions whether Saudi Arabia’s denial of the Iranian pilgrims is retaliation against Iran’s harsh critics towards Saudi Arabian authorities regarding the deaths of pilgrims during annual Islamic pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia last year.“Iranian and Saudi Arabian authorities’ latest meeting was on the 20 March”Mohammed Rýza Bagheri, indicate that he did not speak of any demands from the president of presidency of religious affairs in his meeting with Mehmet Görmez.News Center

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