Saudi Arabia: Iranian expats granted Haj visas

Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Haj Minister Mohammad Bantan said that all Iranians who had applied to perform pilgrimage from other countries have been granted the necessary visas.

“All the Iranians who have come from Europe, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa have been given visas, and they are now enjoying their stay in Makkah and getting ready to perform Haj,” the minister said in a statement carried by Saudi news TV station Al Ekhbariya.

“Saudi Arabia welcomes all pilgrims and welcomes them from all countries, nationalities, races and sects.”

Bantan was taking part in a forum for international Muslim scholars to discuss the purposes and develop-ments of Haj, Saudi news site Sabq reported on Monday.

Saudi Arabia and Iran had failed to reach an agreement over the procedures to be followed by Iranians during the Haj season, and Tehran decided not to allow Iranians to perform pilgrimage this year.