A national meeting of the clerics set to attend this year’s Hajj to help Iranian pilgrims in performing their Hajj rituals will be held in the holy city of Qom, Iran on Thursday.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A national meeting of the clerics set to attend this year’s Hajj to help Iranian pilgrims in performing their Hajj rituals will be held in the holy city of Qom, Iran on Thursday.
According to Sheikh Ali Parvaneh, an official with the Leader’s Representative Office in Hajj Affairs, said all of the clerics who are scheduled to go to Hajj this year ought to take part in the meeting.
Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Hamid Mohammadi said in February that the country has sought an increased quota for the 2018 Hajj, adding that if the Saudi side agrees with it, 90,000 Iranians will make the pilgrimage this year.
He said some 1.3 million Iranians who signed up some ten years ago for attending Hajj are in line for making the pilgrimage.
Referring to the negotiations held with Saudi Arabia on Iranians’ participation in this year’s Hajj, he said the Hajj quota for Iran is expected to be the same as the previous year’s unless the Saudi side agrees with a request for an increase of 5,000 pilgrims.
In that case, Mohammadi said, as many as 90,000 Iranians will take part in the 2018 Hajj.
In 2017, some 85,000 pilgrims from Iran travelled to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia for Hajj.
A year earlier, more than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj, but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.
On September 24, 2015, thousands of people lost their lives in the deadly crush after Saudi authorities blocked a road in Mina during a ritual, forcing large crowds of pilgrims to collide.
The crush was the deadliest incident in the history of the pilgrimage. According to an Associated Press count based on official statements from the 36 countries that lost citizens in the disaster, more than 2,400 pilgrims were killed in the incident.
Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed, but officials at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people, including over 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.