(AhlulBayt News Agency) - An official with Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said more than 500 clerics will accompany the country’s pilgrims in this year’s Hajj.
Hujat-ul-Islam Ali Parvaneh said that the registration deadline for clerics who want to be sent to Hajj has been extended.
He said those accepted will go through a number of educational programs before going to Hajj to help the pilgrims in the religious rituals.
Registration for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage started on Wednesday, April 12, in Iran.
Iranians who had preregistered for the pilgrimage years ago and were waiting for their turn to go to Mecca for Hajj, started signing up for the journey after Saudi Arabia agreed to Iran’s conditions for sending pilgrims to the kingdom.
An Iranian delegation traveled to Saudi Arabia in late February for the talks on the Hajj pilgrimage of Iranians.
After lengthy negotiations between the two sides, Iran agreed to resume dispatching its pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
Iranian Hajj officials have said that some 86,000 Iranians will take part in the annual pilgrimage this year.
More than 1.8 million faithful took part in last year’s 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 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. Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed in the incident, but officials at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 7,000 people, including over 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.