Iran's Message to Hajj Pilgrims, Message of Friendship

March 18, 1998
MEDINA, Saudi Arabia The Leader's Representative and head of the Iranian Hajj Pilgrims, Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Mohammadi Reyshahri said on Tuesday that participation of Iranian pilgrims in different political and religious rituals of Hajj will further promote Tehran-Riyadh relations. The message of Iranian pilgrims to other Hajj pilgrims is a message of friendship and understanding, he said concluding this is the guideline set by the late Founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini and the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei. He made the remark at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport before leaving for Jeddah. He told reporters that the Iranian pilgrims follow the guidelines of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution so that unity among Muslim nations be further strengthened.

As to the recent visit of the Head of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to Saudi Arabia, head of the Iranian Hajj pilgrims said that various meetings held between the Iranian and Saudi officials have resulted in further expansion of Tehran-Riyadh cooperation. There are certain countries which are attempting to sow discord between the two countries, he said calling on Saudi officials to be cautious of such conspiracies.

With the annual pilgrimage of Hajj approaching, the number of Iranian and other foreign pilgrims heading toward holy Mecca is rising by every passing day. About 8,859 Iranian pilgrims for Hajj have already arrived in Medina until Tuesday. According to the Iranian Leader's representative office the Iranian pilgrims will arrive here in 514 caravans from Iran and Iranian pilgrims from other parts of the world will come here in 13 caravans.

Some 125 residential complexes have been reserved to accommodate Iranian pilgrims in Medina. The Iranian pilgrims have joined their brothers-in-faith from across the world in offering their congregational prayers at Masjid-al-Nabi here. The Iranian Leader's representative for Hajj affairs, Mohammad Mohammadi Reysha- hri arrived Tuesday in Jeddah where he was received by Saudi officials, Iran's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and officials of Iranian Leader's representative office.

According to Persian language daily Al-Nadwah published here, a total of about 600,000 pilgrims for Hajj will arrive in Saudi Arabia this year.