TEHRAN, Jan. 17 (Press Shia Agency) – The Islamic Republic of Iran has replied to Saudi Arabia’s Hajj invitation to inform the Saudi side of Iran’s conditions for sending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj rituals.

Leader’s representative for Hajj and Pilgrimage Affairs, Seyyed Ali Ghazi Askar, stressed that in case the necessary conditions and preparations are provided, everyone in Iran is determined to make participation in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage a reality. 

Following the two tragedies in the Great Mosque of Mecca and Mina in 2015 which caused the martyrdom of hundreds of Iranian pilgrims, and the Saudis’ failure in assuaging the grieving Iranian nation, the Islamic Republic announced that it would not send any pilgrims to Hajj if Saudi Arabia did not ensure their safety. The severed diplomatic ties between the two countries has also hindered the process of negotiations.

Ghazi Askar referred to Saudis’ invitation for holding bilateral talks on 2017 Hajj rituals, adding “the reply to the invitation letter containing the Islamic Republic’s conditions for participating was sent by Iran’s Minister of Culture Salehi Amiri addressed to Saudi Arabia’s Hajj minister.”

“We are hoping that the negotiations will lead to a positive result and conditions will be ready for taking part in this spiritual duty,” he added.

He further called on all relevant bodies to be prepared for sending about 80,000 pilgrims to this year’s Hajj rituals. 

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