Iranians to perform Umrah after gap of 8 years: Details inside


RIYADH – Iranian pilgrims are set to recommence their journey to Saudi Arabia for Umrah after a gap of eight long years.

From Dec. 19th, the Iranian pilgrims would embark on the pilgrimage and the initial batch would comprise 550 members, Abbas Hosseini, the head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization confirmed.

During a press conference in Tehran, the official detailed that the pilgrims would head to the kingdom on a ten-day pilgrimage, five of which will be spent in Makkah and the remaining five in Madinah.

This decision – widely hailed by everyone –  comes after extensive consultations and coordination with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, culminating in signed memorandums of understanding and contracts.

The inaugural flight will depart from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, with subsequent Umrah flights scheduled from various cities across Iran. Hosseini highlighted plans to facilitate Umrah for 70,000 Iranian pilgrims in 550 batches until February 29 after which the holy month of Ramadan would start. 

Besides, Hosseini emphasized that those initially registered for the pilgrimage in 2008 could finalize their registrations. He also indicated the potential of sending between 800,000 to one million pilgrims annually if conditions align favorably and requisite cooperation is extended.

This resumption of Umrah marks a significant moment following the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia in March 2023. The pilgrimage had ceased in 2015, a year before the two nations severed diplomatic relations.

The controversy between the two countries was the 2015 Hajj stampede which escalated tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran due to the deaths of Iranian pilgrims. Iranian leaders accused Saudi authorities of being responsible for the disaster that led to a death toll of about 2,000 pilgrims including over 400 Iranians.

The China-mediated negotiations between the two countries is now bearing fruit and the resumption of the Umrah pilgrimage is a step in the same direction. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *