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Arab parliament tells Iran: ‘don’t politicize hajj’

Hajj should only be meant for rituals and worshipping, the Arab parliament said

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The parliament set up by the Arab League said on Tuesday that hajj should not be politicized and exploited to target Saudi Arabia.

In a statement at the end of its final session, it said that the sanctity of the Two Holy Mosques and holy sites must be maintained.

Hajj should only be meant for rituals and worshipping, the Arab parliament said.

Saudi Arabia said the Iranians had demanded the right to hold demonstrations during hajj.

“Iran demanded the right to organize demonstrations and to have privileges that would cause chaos during hajj. This is unacceptable,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir during a joint press conference with his visiting British counterpart Philip Hammond in Jeddah.

“Iran’s intention from the start was to maneuver and find excuses in order to prevent its citizens from performing hajj,” Al-Jubeir said. “They are now answerable to Allah.”

Last month, the Arab parliament condemned Iran and Hezbollah’s interference in internal affairs of the Arab countries.

Arab Parliament Speaker Ahmed Al-Jarwan stressed in a statement that Hezbollah is a terrorist party, adding that the Arab League, many international conventions and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, took a similar tone, due to its negative interventions in many countries of the region. The Arab parliament warned Iran against open intervention in the affairs of the Arab countries, instigation of sectarian strife, threat to the coherence of Arab entity.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on June 1, 2016.