According to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper , Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has accused the Iranian regime of “politicizing” the Holy Hajj to get away from its internal problems.
He added that while Saudi Arabia expressed its readiness to welcome Iranian pilgrims, Tehran chose instead to complicate the matter by politicizing the pilgrimage.
Speaking to reporters on Monday during a closed meeting at the Saudi Embassy in London, the Saudi foreign affairs minister said that latest comments by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei on Hajj were a mere attempt to shift Iranian people’s attention from their government’s continuous failures and its decision to prevent Iranians from performing the holy pilgrimage.
Jubeir stressed that the Kingdom was keen on welcoming pilgrims from around the world, but the Iranian government refused to cooperate in travel and visa arrangements. He noted that such arrangements were coordinated between the Kingdom and all other countries to guarantee a safe Hajj season for more than three million Muslims annually.
The newspaper added that the Saudi foreign minister also said that Iran was using more aggressive policies since the adoption of the nuclear deal and ruled out any possibility to reach an agreement with the Persian state if the latter continued to spread sectarian violence in the region.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking Iraqi official told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that his country has stopped some Iranian members from travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj, as they have secretly infiltrated an Iraqi group of pilgrims with fake passports.