Saudi Arabia Asks Iran to Decrease the Number of Pilgrims by 20%
Hajj Minister Bandar bin Mohammad Al-Hajar has asked his Iranian counterpart to consider decreasing the number of Iranian pilgrims to Mecca and Medina by 20%. According to the letter written by Mohammad Al-Hajar, Saudi Arabia is going to start the next phase of Haramain expansion project.
“As the Saudi Arabia is working hard to finish expansion project of Haramain Sharifain, we kindly ask the government of Islamic Republic to reduce the number of pilgrims by 20%. In recent years, we have established positive ties and relations with the officials of Iran’s Hajj Ministry. Sometimes, Saudi Arabia allowed Iran to send even more pilgrims, but now we have limited facilities to host Muslims for coming Hajj season.” The letter written by Hajj Minister Bandar bin Mohammad Al-Hajar read.
Iran sends 100,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia annually for Hajj purposes. Saudi Arabia has sent the similar requests to other Muslim countries too. A few countries including India have asked Saudi Arabia to revise its decision over decreasing the number of pilgrims for Hajj season.
According to official statistics, the number of people who have registered their names for Hajj ceremony has been decreased dramatically as Iran has hugely changed its pricing model. The appointees of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Hajj Ministry have previously promised to reverse back the rates to former prices. Currently, Iranians must pay some $3000 for visiting the holy cities of Medina and Mecca during Hajj season.