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Why was hajj for Iranian pilgrims canceled this year?

After failing to resolve differences with Saudi Arabia, Iranians will be unable to attend the hajj pilgrimage this year.

After last-minute negotiations, Iran and Saudi Arabia failed to provide a breakthrough for Iranian pilgrims to attend the hajj pilgrimage, which is mandatory for all able Muslims. Saeed Ohadi, head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, accused Saudi Arabia of imposing new “domineering” conditions for Iran’s participation.

Iranian officials had previously publicly discussed two of the conditions that were causing friction between Iran and Saudi for the participation of Iranian pilgrims to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia: a ban on Iranian planes and a requirement for Iranians to travel to a third country for a visa. Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran after its Tehran embassy was attacked in January in response to the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

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