Middle East

Iran sends delegation to Saudi Arabia for talks on rejoining haj

KABA

Iran has sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia for talks on Iranians attending haj, state television reported on Wednesday, after Tehran boycotted the Muslim pilgrimage last year.

Relations between the two regional powers, who back rival sides in several Middle East conflicts, worsened after hundreds of people, many of them Iranians, died in a crush at the 2015 pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Iran blamed the disaster on organizers’ incompetence. Reza Salehi Amiri, Iran’s Islamic guidance and culture minister, told state television that Tehran was seeking guarantees to ensure the “dignity and safety” of the pilgrims before it agrees for the resumption of its participation in the pilgrimage, which starts this year in late August.

The delegation left for Saudi Arabia late on Tuesday at the invitation of Saudi officials. (Reuters)

Read also : Drones keep watch as pilgrims ascend Mount Arafat for haj climax

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