TEHRAN, Jan. 04 (Press Shia) – Bahram Ghasemi dismissed reports that Iran would not send pilgrims on Hajj pilgrimage this year, saying if proper conditions are met, the country will evaluate the situation and make decisions accordingly.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi dismissed as false some reports and quotes over Iran’s decision on halting Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia for this year, adding “as was previously announced, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not yet received any invitation from the Saudi government for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. But once the invitation is received and the proper conditions are provided, relevant organizations will assess the situation and make appropriate decisions on sending Iranian pilgrims to Mecca.”

Several media speculation and reports on Friday noted that Saudi Pilgrimage Minister Mohammed Bentin had begun discussions with more than 80 countries, including Iran, to work out the details of the 2017 Hajj. The new head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, Hamid Mohammadi, however dismissed the claims on Sunday, saying Saudi Arabia has not extended an invitation for Iran’s participation in this year’s Hajj rituals. He went on stress that Iran’s Hajj organization is making every effort to make the conditions ready for the participation of Iranian pilgrims in Hajj. 

MS/3868208