TEHRAN (IQNA) – The Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization hoped that the coronavirus pandemic will be gone by the time the warm season begins and the Hajj will be held, but said the country is ready for different scenarios regarding the pilgrimage.
Ali Reza Rashidian said if the COVID-19 crisis ends and the decision is made to hold the Hajj, Iran will send pilgrims while considering all conditions, including the health of the pilgrims.
Interactions with Saudi Arabia continue in this regard, he noted.
Rashidian added that the Islamic Republic of Iran is pioneering among Muslim states cooperating on organizing Hajj in terms of protecting the health of pilgrims.
He also said if the coronavirus pandemic continues and Saudi Arabia decides to hold the pilgrimage nonetheless, those at high risk of contracting the disease will not be sent to the Holy Land.
If this year’s Hajj is canceled, those Iranians who have registered for the pilgrimage will be sent to Saudi Arabia next year.
The Hajj quota for Iran in the current year is 87,550 pilgrims.
Hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca that every able-bodied and financially able Muslim is obliged to undertake at least once during their lifetime.
Last month, Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage over fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading to Islam’s holiest cities.
Authorities are yet to announce whether they will proceed with this year’s Hajj, scheduled for the end of July. Authorities last week urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.
International Quran News Agency
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