The governor of the holy city of Mecca has referred to Iranians and Saudi Arabians as religious brothers, expressing the hope that Iranian pilgrims would remember the Saudis with a good impression.
In a press conference, the Emir of Mecca Khalid al-Faisal noted that “Iranians are our religious brothers and we warmly welcomed their entry to this holy land.”
He went on saying that the Iranian pilgrims did not face any serious problems during the Hajj season and performed their rituals easily and smoothly.
“I hope they would remember us in future with good impression and they would do the same with us,” he added.
Iranian pilgrims arrived in the holy city of Mecca to perform Hajj rituals this year after their last year’s absence. Iran boycotted Hajj after two tragic incidents in 2015 which left nearly 470 Iranian pilgrims dead.
Serious questions were raised about the competence of Saudi authorities in managing the Hajj rituals in the wake of the incidents.
The Islamic Republic had stressed that it would not resume the pilgrimage until its conditions are met. Giving guarantee for a safe and honourable pilgrimage was among the main conditions set by Iran which was accepted by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia also unilaterally severed its diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016 after attacks on its diplomatic premises in Tehran and Mashhad by a group of protesters outraged by Riyadh’s execution of eminent Saudi Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.