TEHRAN– The Leader of the Islamic Revolution’s Representative in Hajj Affairs Hojat-ol-Islam Seyed Ali Qaziaskar said more than 10,000 Sunni Muslims will be among Iranian pilgrims attending this year’s Hajj.
Speaking in a meeting with Tunisia’s ambassador to Iran Tariq Beltaib on Wednesday, Hojat-ol-Islam Qaziaskar added that there is no difference provided to Iranian Sunni and Shia Hajj pilgrims.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian cleric called for development of tes between Tehran and Tunisin all areas.
He also urged efforts to promote the real image of Islam in the world and counter extremism and Takfirism.
The Tunisian envoy, for his part, underlined the need for promotion of cultural exchanges among Muslim nations and said the Islamic Republic and Tunisia can share experiences and cooperate in the field of Hajj pilgrimage.
In 2018 and 2017, more than 85,000 Iranian pilgrims made the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for Hajj.
It came after a hiatus in Iranians’ participation in Hajj. More than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj in 2016, 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 24, 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.