Based on an agreement with Saudi Arabia, as many as 86,500 Iranian pilgrims will travel to the kingdom during this year’s Hajj season, an official announced.
Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Hamid Mohammadi said on Friday that Iranian pilgrims will travel to Saudi Arabia in 600 convoys.
He said Saudi officials have undertaken to ensure the security of Iranian pilgrims during the annual Hajj season.
Mohammadi also noted that all Iranian travelers will be kitted up with homegrown electronic bracelets that would work as ID cards and contain their personal information.
The wearable device is paired with a mobile application, helping the pilgrims to find their convoys in case of getting lost, he explained.
Mohammadi had announced earlier that Iran is the first country equipping its pilgrims with electronic bracelets with extensive features.
Iran announced in mid-March that applicants can go on Hajj pilgrimage this year following negotiations with Saudi officials after a hiatus in the wake of a diplomatic row with the kingdom.
In 2016, 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 2, 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.