Head of the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Ali Reza Rashidian noted that the reopening of Iran’s consulate in the kingdom and guaranteeing Iranian pilgrims’ dignity and security are among those conditions.
He said related bodies have considered necessary preparations for dispatching Umrah pilgrims in different capacities.
As for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, Rashidian noted, the Saudi side has not made any decision.
“We are waiting for their decision but (in any case) there is full preparedness in the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization in terms of executive affairs (for sending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia),” he stated.
Last year, Rashidian had predicted that the conditions will be prepared for the dispatch of Iranian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Umrah and Hajj in 2022.
Iran sent 86,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Hajj in 2019. In 2018 and 2017 some 85,000 Iranians made the pilgrimage.
A year earlier, more than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj 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.