TEHRAN: Iran has officially announced on Thursday that it will not send pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj this year due to intense concerns over security and safety of the people.
Iran blamed that Saudi Arabia has failed to provide security to pilgrims who appear in larger numbers to perform religious duty.
The contentious issue began when last year during Hajj 2015, at least 2426, as per AP count, lost their lives in Mina Stampede. Ian has said the disaster killed 464 of its pilgrims.
Iran has since demanded additional security guarantees for pilgrims but a second round of talks in Saudi Arabia this week failed to resolve the issue.
Saeed Ohadi, head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, said Thursday that “Saudi Arabia knows it will pay a heavy price for depriving pilgrims” from Iran of the chance to perform the hajj, considered a duty for every able-bodied Muslim.
KSA had earlier stated it will not allow Irani pilgrims to perform Shiite rituals during Hajj