S. Arabia accepts Iran’s conditions for Hajj pilgrimage: MP

April 19, 2017

TEHRAN – A member of the parliament presiding board said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia has accepted Iran’s conditions for sending pilgrims to Hajj.

After a stampede in Mina on September 24, 2015, in which 464 Iranian pilgrims lost their lives Tehran said it would not send pilgrims to Hajj otherwise their safety is guaranteed.

“Saudi Arabia had announced that Iran could dispatch pilgrims like the other countries, but the Islamic Republic of Iran refused to accept it and at the end Saudi Arabia accepted our conditions to dispatch pilgrims,” Akbar Ranjbarzadeh told reporters on the sidelines of a closed session of the parliament.

Iran’s conditions have been “health, dignity and security of the pilgrims”, he said.

The Hajj stampede in 2015 led to death of about 2000 pilgrims. Most of the victims were Iranians.  Saudi health Minister Khaled al-Falih blamed victims for the disaster for failing to follow instructions. He claimed, “This type of accident could have been avoided. However, this is God's will.” But pilgrims and Muslim groups hit back angrily at the claims, accusing Saudi officials of closing two key roads so dignitaries could reach a palace. 

Also on September 11, 2015, a crawler crane toppled over onto the Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 111 people and injuring 394. 

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