Hajj puts the image of the Iranian regime at stake

https://rasanah-iiis.org/english/?p=1304

ByMohammed Alsulami

Iranian authorities have prevented its citizens from Hajj this year, even though Saudi government has solved all problems, which Tehran claims they hinder Iranian citizens to perform this great ritual. Thus, after the statement of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Iranian regime’s position became doubtful and inconsistent with its prevention justifications, especially after leaving Saudi territory for the second time without signing the note of this regard.
Observers of Iranian media recently will notice that the Iranian regime has been monitoring the popular desire to perform Hajj this year especially that the Kingdom has declared its readiness to receive Iranian pilgrims to arrive from other countries.
It has been noted that Saied Auhadi, the head of Iran Hajj and Visit Organization intensified his remarks in this regard. He also emphasized that Saudi Arabia will not receive Iranian pilgrims who will be arriving from other countries, and will not grant them visas, as well as that the electronic visas related to Haj nationality state, and as he alleged that Saudi Arabia cannot modify this electronic procedure.
Auhadi also sought to warn Iranian pilgrims from traveling for security reasons and mentioned the two incidents of the crane fall and Mena pushing, and said that every state has the right to concern about its citizens, thus prevent them from traveling for their safety.
Nevertheless, the reality contrast with the Iranian statements, during the last few days the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah revealed that the Kingdom is receiving Iranian pilgrims who have arrived from other countries, and they are enjoying the services provided by the Saudi government as same as other nationalities.
The arrival of some Iranian pilgrims coming from Western countries has become reality. Therefore, the Iranian confused position appears in my opinion at two major items: First, that there is popular pressure in Iran and possibly from scientific clergy and Hawza in Qum, perhaps also from Hajj institutions, but they did not show that.
Secondly, that the government is afraid of breaking the ban decision of Hajj through travel to other countries and get visas from there, this will affect the Iranian regime prestige in the interior, and the positions of Iranian people toward his government’s action in the region and the world.
The Iranian people should realize that Tehran’s regime exploits religious rituals for purely political purposes, and have been used this ritual to create confusion and harassment among other pilgrims through demonstrations, marches and raising political slogans during Hajj season. Here it now prevents its citizens and the elderly of them who dedicated money for many years to perform this ritual, without any care for their hopes and longings to visit Kaaba and the Prophet Mosque.
If Tehran regime maintains its decision to ban citizens from pilgrimage, it will find himself in more embarrassing position in the coming pilgrimage seasons. Because, the people will realize day after day that prevention was not from the Saudi side as the regime claims, in particular with the arrival of some of their compatriots from other countries to Saudi Arabia and receiving them as other pilgrims of different nationalities with all hospitality and welcome. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not confuse between Tehran’s regime and the helpless Iranian people. Thus, it is expected that Iranians will seek to travel to neighboring countries, and get pilgrimage visas before traveling to the holy places. This matter has historical precedent, too, when Saudi-Iranian ties severed in the forties of the last century, Iranian pilgrims headed to India, Lebanon, and Egypt, and then to Saudi Arabia, Will history repeat itself? Personally, I think so.

Translated Material (AGCIS): AL-Watan Newspaper

Opinions in this article reflect the writer’s point of view, not necessarily the view of The Arabain GCIS

Mohammed Alsulami
Mohammed Alsulami
Head of Rasanah: International Institute for Iranian Studies