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EghtesadOnline: An Iranian delegation held talks with the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Mohammed bin Saleh bin Tahir Benten on the disagreements of the two countries over Hajj affairs.

The second round of talks between the two sides were held in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Friday. The first round had been held on Thursday afternoon, IRNA reported.

Caretaker of Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Hamid Mohammadi heading a delegation left for Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the Saudi minister of Hajj on Wednesday.

During the negotiations in Jeddah, the two sides expressed their views about the problems on the way of Iranian pilgrims who want to perform Hajj pilgrimage in 2017. 

Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi-Amiri recently reiterated that ensuring the pilgrims’ security, paying the blood money to the families of those who were killed during the 2015 Hajj rituals and preserving the Iranian pilgrims’ dignity are Iran’s conditions for attending the Hajj congregations. 

About 500 Iranian pilgrims were killed during a stampede in 2015 Hajj annual congregation when, according to reports, two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, on their way to performing the 'Stoning of the Devil' ritual at Jamarat.

The Iranian pilgrims couldn’t attend the great religious ritual in 2016 as the Saudi officials failed to ensure their security based on provisions made by the Iranian officials after the tragic incident in its previous year.

The annual Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam which devout Muslims must perform at least once during their lifetime.

Hajj pilgrimage Iran-Saudi relationship Mohammed bin Saleh bin Tahir Benten