Jeddah: Saudi Arabia denied blocking Iranian hajj pilgrims and accused Iran of “politicizing” the Hajj.
In a Cabinet meeting on Monday, it was briefed that Iranian hajj affair officials refused to sign the deal.
Saudi Hajj Ministry officials met with an Iranian Hajj delegation in April to decide on Hajj arrangements, but the Iranian delegation had refused to sign the agreement in reference to accommodation, visa and other issues which is mandatory for all countries, according to the statement carried by the SPA.
Culture and Information Minister Adel Al-Toraifi accused the Iranian government of using this matter “as one of its many ways to pressure the Saudi government.”
“Saudi Arabia welcomes all pilgrims and does not stop any Muslim from visiting the holy cities,” the Cabinet said.
The minister said Iran has “decided to ban” its own citizens from their “right” to perform the pilgrimage and would now have to face Almighty Allah (SWT).
Earlier Thursday, Iran announced that its citizens would miss the annual Hajj, expected in early September this year.
(With inputs from Arab News)