Riyadh Assures Tehran of No Political Motive in Pilgrim Travel Issue

16 February

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud has assured his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian that there is no political background to the issue concerning the delay in transferring Iranian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the minor hajj, also known as umrah. This was conveyed in a release from Iran's Foreign Ministry following a telephone conversation between the ministers.


According to the Saudi minister, quoted by Iran's Foreign Ministry's Telegram channel, "There is no political background in the issue of Iranian citizens performing the minor hajj. The technical problem with the Saudi airline is nearing resolution." The Saudi foreign minister expressed hope that Iranian pilgrims will soon be able to travel to Mecca and Medina to perform umrah.


Earlier, Gholamreza Rezaei, the Deputy Chairman of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, had reported that around  30,000 Iranian pilgrims were unable to travel to Saudi Arabia for umrah due to the Iranian airline's lack of permission to operate the corresponding flight to the kingdom.


Umrah is a minor pilgrimage that involves visiting Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia and can be performed at any time of the year, except during the month designated for Hajj.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Federation Council

Based on materials from TASS