Iran, Saudi Arabia sign MoU on Hajj
Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Iran and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on participation of Iranian pilgrims in the 2019 Hajj.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Iran and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on participation of Iranian pilgrims in the 2019 Hajj.
The MoU was signed after talks between Head of Iranís Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Alireza Rashidian and Saudi Hajj Minister Muhammad Saleh Benten.
During the talks, Rashidian referred to some of the problems Iranian pilgrims faced in this yearís Hajj and offered solutions for the next Hajj ritual.
The Saudi minister, for his part, expressed his view about the issues raised by the Iranian official and promised efforts to improve the conditions.
According to the MoU, the quota for Iranian pilgrims in the 2019 Hajj will be 86,500.
Iran sent 86,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Hajj this year. In 2017 some 85,000 Iranians made the pilgrimage.
A year earlier, more than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.
Iran has not sent pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Umrah since 2015.
On September 24, 2015, thousands of people lost their lives in the deadly crush after Saudi authorities blocked a road in Mina during a ritual, forcing large crowds of pilgrims to collide.
The crush was the deadliest incident in the history of the pilgrimage. According to an Associated Press count based on official statements from the 36 countries that lost citizens in the disaster, more than 2,400 pilgrims were killed in the incident.
Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed, but officials at Iranís Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people, including over 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.