The group of expelled media team with the head of Iran's broadcasting (C). May 29, 2024

Iranian Official Criticizes Saudi Actions During Hajj

Saturday, 06/15/2024

Abdolfattah Navvab, representing Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Hajj affairs, has voiced objections over what he describes as the "arrest of some Iranian pilgrims" during the annual Hajj ceremonies in Saudi Arabia.

During a meeting in Mecca, attended by the Iranian Ambassador to Riyadh, Navvab stated that "Some of the host country's (Saudi Arabia) actions have been unprecedented in any previous Hajj seasons."

He highlighted the recent expulsion of six individuals, identified by Iranian officials as members of an Iranian government media group, suggesting that these expulsions occurred under questionable circumstances. Navvab also mentioned that an Iranian detained in Medina is facing harsh conditions, with little hope for a prompt release. No further details about this individual were provided.

The statement by the official come as Tehran has historically used the Hajj and the presence of Iranian pilgrims to instigate political demonstrations. In a speech on May 6, Supreme Leader Khamenei criticized the US and Israel, indirectly targeting Saudi Arabia by condemning those who befriend these nations.

He reiterated a call for Iranian pilgrims to distance themselves from "the criminal Zionist enemy and its supporters," reviving a rhetoric of confrontation reminiscent of past decades.

Although the Islamic Republic resumed diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia last year, brokered by China, after a seven-year break, the two regional powers are far from establishing close ties and exhibiting mutual trust.

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