Tehran: Iran and Saudi Arabia have failed to resolve a row over the Hajj pilgrimage and Iranian citizens will not travel to Mecca this year.
The Iranian Hajj Organisation has accused Saudi Arabia, custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, of raising obstacles and ‘blocking the path to Allah’.
“Saudi Arabia is opposing the absolute right of Iranians to go on the hajj and is blocking the path leading to Allah,” it said.
The Saudi side had failed to respond to Iranian demands over the security and respect of its pilgrims to Mecca, of whom 60,000 took part in last year’s Hajj, it added.
“After two series of negotiations without any results because of obstacles raised by the Saudis, Iranian pilgrims will unfortunately not be able to take part in the hajj in September,” Iran’s Culture Minister Ali Jannati said.
The Saudi, on its part said that Iran’s Hajj demands were ‘unacceptable’.
Saudi officials have said an Iranian delegation ended a visit to the kingdom last week without reaching final agreement on arrangements for pilgrims from the Islamic republic.
Country’s Hajj Ministry, however, said that it had offered many solutions to meet a string of demands made by the Iranians in two days of talks.
Riyadh annually signs a Hajj memorandum of understanding with more than 70 countries.