Akbar Ranjbarzadeh made the comments on Wednesday speaking to reporters, following the parliament's closed session attended by Reza Salehi Amiri Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Hojatoleslam Ali Qazi Asgar Representative of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei at the pilgrimage.
Salehi Amiri and Qazi Asgar were in Majlis today to brief parliament representatives on the recent developments of Hajj and the issue of sending Iranian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj, through a written communication, has expressed the country’s readiness to accept Iranian pilgrims, in case the Islamic Republic of Iran is also willing to send its pilgrims to Saudi Arabia in the Hajj season, Ranjbarzadeh said.
Iran in a letter to Saudi Hajj authorities has conditioned sending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to the latter’s efforts to provide guarantees regarding the protection of safety and dignity of Iranian pilgrims during Hajj ceremonies, he said.
“At first, it was declared by Riyadh that like other countries sending their pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, Iran could also send its pilgrims and they are welcomed,” the member of Parliament’s presiding board said.
“But the Islamic Republic of Iran rejected the offer and finally the Saudi Hajj officials accepted Tehran’s conditions,” Ranjbarzadeh said.
“Iran wants that the health, dignity and security of its pilgrims to be fully protected and that they face no mistreatments,” he added.
Ranjbarzadeh also said that since Iran has no embassy in Saudi Arabia to protect its citizens, Riyadh has agreed to guarantee their full safety from the very moment they enter Saudi Arabia till the time they leave the country.
Relations between Tehran and Riyadh became sore in 2016 following the attack on Saudi embassy diplomatic mission in the Iranian capital by mobs allegedly in protest to Mina stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage that left hundreds dead including many Iranian pilgrims.
According to Ranjbarzadeh, Iran is still following the case on the tragedy.