87, 550 Iranian pilgrims to perform 2023 Hajj, sign MoU with Saudi Arabia
The head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization highlighted the outcomes of his negotiations with the Saudi officials on this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday, Seyed Sadeq Hosseini said he traveled to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the country’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
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The trip was aimed at visiting the Hajj Expo 2023 as well as signing an agreement on the participation of Iranian pilgrims in this year’s Hajj, he said.
Hosseini described the Hajj Expo as being held at a good level and said 700 Saudi companies displayed their capacities in the field of Hajj and Umrah services at the exhibition.
He said that in previous years, only one company provided Hajj services but this year there are many firms working in this field and their competition would lead to better prices for the services.
The Iranian official further said that during the visit, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Iran and Saudi Arabia and Iran’s Hajj quota was determined to be 87,550.
He said Iran had asked for more quota but it was rejected by the Saudis who say they would not accept any rise in the quota for any country this year.
One issue agreed in the talks was that some of Iranian Hajj flights would land at Taef Airport instead of Jeddah, he stated.
Hosseini noted that the distance between Taef and Mecca is only 70 kilometers.
As for the transportation means, he said a large number of Iranian pilgrims will travel from Medina to Mecca by train instead of bus this year.
The Saudi side also agreed to remove obstacles on the establishment of medical clinics and importing medicines by Iran during Hajj, he went on to say.
Nearly 1.1 million Iranians are on a waiting list to take part in Hajj.
Some 39,600 Iranians took part in the 2022 Hajj, which was held in July after two years of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca that every able-bodied and financially able Muslim is obliged to undertake at least once during their lifetime.
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