May 30, 2023

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Iranian Hajj pilgrims descend on Saudi Arabia in thousands

TEHRAN – As of Saturday, more than 11,000 Iranian Hajj pilgrims arrived in Saudi Arabia, most of them via Medina Airport and the others through Jeddah Airport.

Iran’s top Hajj official who had already arrived in Saudi Arabia talked to the Iranian pilgrims at Al Shajara Mosque before heading to the holy cities of Medina and Mecca. 

Sadeq Hosseini, the head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, visited the holy city of Medina on Friday to closely oversee the executive procedures for pilgrims.

He was received at the airport by some officials of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and a group of directors of the Iranian Hajj Committee, Al Alam reported.

“Until yesterday, more than 11,000 pilgrims arrived at the Land of Revelation, most of them through Medina Airport, where they stay for 5 days, and others through Jeddah Airport,” Hosseini said, according to Al Alam.

He noted that the officials concerned with the executive procedures had made great efforts despite the lack of time in order to provide the required requirements for pilgrims, including housing, food and transportation.

The head of the organization is scheduled to closely supervise the affairs and follow up on matters related to pilgrims.

This year, 39,600 Iranian pilgrims will perform Hajj. The first batch of pilgrims from Iran left the country on Sunday through Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport.

This year’s Hajj comes after a two-year interruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also comes against a backdrop of diplomatic talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia that facilitated the Hajj for Iranian citizens. 

After a two-year shutdown of the Hajj pilgrimage due to the coronavirus pandemic, Iranian pilgrims began setting off their religious journey to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, an annual Islamic ritual featuring Muslims from around the world descending on the holy Saudi city of Mecca.

Prior to the Iranian pilgrims starting their journey to perform the 2022 Hajj pilgrimage, Ayatollah Khamenei met with a number of officials in charge of Hajj. He addressed a number of issues pertaining to Hajj and its rituals as well as international relations.

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