Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of ‘blocking the path to Allah’ and bans pilgrims from going to Mecca


“Saudi Arabia is…blocking the path leading to Allah.” “Iran and Saudi Arabia are bitter rivals, seeing themselves as the leaders of Shia and Sunni Islam respectively.” Yet both Iran and Saudi Arabia practice a religion that our highest officials are on record multiple times insisting is un-Islamic and has nothing to do with Islam. This fantasy that prevails at the highest levels is crippling our ability to deal with the jihad threat. One cannot defeat an enemy that one does not understand, much less an enemy that one refuses to understand.

Mecca pilgrims Kaba

“Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of ‘blocking the path to Allah’ and bans pilgrims from going to Mecca,” by David Blair, Telegraph, May 29, 2016:

Iran accused Saudi Arabia of “blocking the path leading to Allah” on Sunday when Tehran announced that its pilgrims would not perform the Hajj in Mecca this year.

If this ban is enforced, the annual Hajj in September will be the first in 30 years without any pilgrims from Iran, the largest Shia Muslim nation.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are bitter rivals, seeing themselves as the leaders of Shia and Sunni Islam respectively. Officials from both countries have tried to negotiate arrangements for Iranians to perform the Hajj this year, but without success.

The failure to reach agreement was because of “obstacles raised by the Saudis,” said Ali Jannati, the Iranian culture minister. The Iranian Hajj Organisation said: “Saudi Arabia is opposing the absolute right of Iranians to go on the Hajj and is blocking the path leading to Allah.”

Last year, 60,000 Iranians travelled to Mecca. But a stampede caused the death of 2,300 pilgrims, including 464 Iranians, leading Tehran to accuse the kingdom of being unable or unwilling to manage the Hajj safely.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with its regional neighbour in January after a mob stormed and looted the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran, retaliating for the execution of a prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Among other counter-measures, Saudi Arabia banned Iranian airlines from entering its airspace. In addition, there are no Saudi diplomatic missions in Iranian where pilgrims could collect their visas….

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