Speaking to IQNA, Hojat-ol-Islam Ali Qazi Askar said efforts have been underway to make sure that Iranian pilgrims will perform their Hajj rituals with more ease.
He underlined that ensuring the dignity, security and health of Iranian pilgrims during Hajj this year is among top priorities for the establishment.
Given the incidents that took place in the 2015 Hajj, new agreements were signed between Iran and Saudi Arbia on this year’s Hajj and the Saudi Hajj minister has underlined in the agreements that his ministry will employ all its facilities and manpower to provide services to Iranian pilgrims and ensure their safety, he added.
With the coordination and preparations made so far, "we are making efforts so that this year’s Hajj (rituals) will be implemented in the best way possible,” he went on to say.
Some 85,000 Iranian pilgrims will take part in Hajj this year.
Iran announced in mid-March that applicants can go on Hajj pilgrimage this year following negotiations with Saudi officials after a hiatus in the wake of a diplomatic row with the kingdom.
In 2016, more than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj, but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.
On September 24, 2015, thousands of people lost their lives in the deadly crush after Saudi authorities blocked a road in Mina during a ritual, forcing large crowds of pilgrims to collide.
The crush was the deadliest incident in the history of the pilgrimage. According to an Associated Press count based on official statements from the 36 countries that lost citizens in the disaster, more than 2,400 pilgrims were killed in the incidents.
Two weeks earlier, on September 11, 2015, a huge construction crane collapsed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 pilgrims, including several Iranians, and injuring over 200 others in the lead-up to the annual Hajj pilgrimage.