“It has been agreed that necessary arrangements be made for engaging in bilateral talks with Saudi Arabian officials about Hajj (pilgrimage) in 2017,” Hojatoleslam Ali Qazi-Askar said in a speech on Monday.
“Given the fact that Saudi Arabia’s invitation for holding bilateral meetings and talks on Hajj has been officially received…, the Islamic Republic of Iran will send its response in coming days,” the official noted.
In the negotiations with the other party, the Islamic Republic’s demands, including the rights of Iranian martyrs killed in Mina and Mecca in 2015, will be raised, Qazi-Askar said.
More than 1.8 million faithful took part in last year's 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 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. Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed in the incident, but officials at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 7,000 people, including over 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.