TEHRAN: Iran said on Wednesday it has sent a team for talks in Saudi Arabia on this year’s Haj after missing the Haj in 2016 at a time of rising tensions between the two countries.
“A delegation has been sent from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Saudi Arabia to follow up on the Haj,” Culture Minister Reza Salehi Amiri told state television.
“Iran’s policy is to send pilgrims to the Haj (this year), of course, if Saudi Arabia accepts our conditions,” he said.
“In a letter I’ve written to the Saudi Haj minister I have specified our conditions...
“If they accept our conditions, we will definitely send pilgrims (this) year, otherwise the responsibility” will be on Saudi Arabia, said Amiri.
On January 10, Iran said it had received an official invitation from Saudi Arabia for its pilgrims to attend this year’s Haj.
There was no official Iranian delegation at last year’s Haj after Riyadh severed ties with Tehran following the torching of its missions in Tehran and Mashhad by protesters.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2017