Navab named Leader’s representative for Hajj affairs

May 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed Hojatoleslam Abdolfatah Navab as his representative for Hajj affairs, replacing Ali Qazi Askar.

In a decree, Ayatollah Khamenei thanked Qazi Askar for his successful efforts during his tenure and wished success for Navab in the new post, Tasnim reported on Saturday.

Qazi Askar had earlier made assurances that Iranians who planned to go on pilgrimage to the holy cities in Saudi Arabia later this year should not worry about their security.  

“Due to the severance of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, there are public concerns about the security of the Hajj,” he said in a speech in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad on Friday.

“However, (in talks) with the Saudis, we have raised the issue that they should separate the Hajj from political issues, and they have accepted this in practice,” he added.

“There is no (security) problem facing our pilgrims with the grace of God and, of course, in this regard, the experience of the last two years has proven this,” he stated.

During a visit to Saudi Arabia in December 2018, Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization chief Alireza Rashidian held meetings with officials from the kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah about the 2019 Hajj season.

The two sides signed an agreement at the conclusion of the meetings to make better arrangements for Iranian pilgrims and preventing the problems they faced in previous years.

The agreement stipulates that 86,500 Iranian pilgrims would go on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in the coming Hajj season.

MH/PA

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