Iran and Hajj: Long history of politicization

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The decision was announced today by Minister of Culture Ali Jannati with regard to depriving Iranians of performing pilgrimage this year, and ascribed the reason to what he called "Saudi restrictions".

The decision comes two days after an Iranian delegation left Saudi Arabia which it visited the Kingdom in search of an agreement on the arrangements of Iranians' bookings. In the wake of the visit, it abstained from signing on the wrapping up of arrangements for Iranians' bookings despite the fact that both sides had reached, in previous talks, an agreement on the main points of disagreement, chief among which the electronic issuance of visas from inside Iran, providing an equal transportation of pilgrims between the two Saudi and Iran carriers, and approving the Iranian delegation's request to grant them a diplomatic representation through the Swiss embassy.

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