Speaking to reporters in Tehran, Ali Qazi-Askar highlighted the talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia on the Hajj pilgrimage of Iranians and said most of the disputed issues have been resolved in the negotiations, expressing the hope that the remaining problems would be resolved in coming days.
He said if the issues are completely resolved, the two sides will witness the dispatch of Iranian nationals for Hajj pilgrimage.
“In the next (Iranian) year, we will dispatch at least 80,000 Hajj pilgrims to the Land of Revelation (Mecca),” he said.
An Iranian delegation traveled to Saudi Arabia on February 23 for the talks on the Hajj pilgrimage of Iranians.
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.