Saudi gov’t refuses to allow Iranian Hajj pilgrims to vote in presidential election

Iranian officials say Saudi Arabia has turned down a request by Iran to allow Iranian Hajj pilgrims to cast their votes in the snap presidential polls on Friday.

Iran’s Hajj headquarters in Saudi Arabia said, “Despite demands by Iranian authorities that the pilgrims be allowed to vote in the cities of Mecca and Medina, the host government did not agree to hold elections on June 8.”

The Iranian election headquarters has put the number of Iranian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia at 47,000.

The Saudi government did not provide any reason for its refusal.

Canada, that has no formal diplomatic ties with Iran, had also announced earlier it would not grant permission to the large community of Iranians living in the country to participate in the election.

Iran’s High Council for Human Rights decried Ottawa’s move as a violation of the Iranians’ rights.

Mohsen Eslami, the spokesperson for the election headquarters, said last week that Iranian expatriates can vote in the election in 250 polling stations across the world, including the US.

The snap election will be held on Friday with 6 candidates competing in the race.

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