World

TEHRAN (Web Desk) – Iran said on Thursday that its nationals will miss the annual hajj, accusing Saudi Arabia of sabotaging arrangements following a major diplomatic row and a deadly stampede at last year’s pilgrimage.

Iran has failed to reach an agreement with Saudi Arabia on arrangements for its pilgrims during the annual hajj in September this year following the severing of ties between both countries, Iran’s culture minister said.

An Iranian delegation held four days of talks in Saudi Arabia last month aimed at thrashing out a deal but with Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran closed since January and Iranian flights to the kingdom halted they reached a deadlock.

“Saudi officials say our pilgrims must travel to another country to make their visa applications.”

Iran has been insisting that Saudi Arabia issue visas through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which has looked after Saudi interests since Riyadh broke off ties in January following the ransacking of its diplomatic missions by protesters after it executed a leading Shiite cleric.