Need of Firmness toward Iranian Tamper in Hajj

https://rasanah-iiis.org/english/?p=189

ByMohammed Alsulami

Before the 1979 revolution, Iranian pilgrims were performing Hajj and Umrah as equally as the rest of Islamic countries’ pilgrims without any noise or harassment to other pilgrims or security and workers of services in Makkah and Medina during these rituals. There were not any political or sectarian slogans being raised nor any images of political symbols were being put at the facades of hotels and buses that transporting those pilgrims.  However, the situation turned upside down after the revolution where Iran and its pilgrims have been changed. Since the first Hajj season after the victory of revolution, the problems began to appear slowly and the Iranian pilgrims started to transform the ritual of Hajj to political and sectarian marches as well as slogans glorifying the symbols of the new system. Since 1980, the Saudi security forces have been facing the Iranian tampering in Makkah and Medina. Saudi authorities tried to communicate with the Iranian leadership in 1981. Perhaps there was /is something possibly going wrong without its consent? Moreover, Khomeini’s response confirmed that everything happened with his direct guidance, and thus the hidden thing was exposed, the Islamic unity slogans and the good neighborly relations, which the new regime in Tehran was repeating after the victory of the revolution, have been dissipated.

Iranian tampering reached its peak in 1986 when customs officers foiled the smuggling of large quantities of explosive materials that hidden in the bags of pilgrims. However, Saudi authorities allowed those pilgrims to perform their Hajj that year, and kept silence so as other pilgrims did not dither performing their rituals in tranquility, calm, security and safety. Tehran may be suspect that Saudi Arabia is not able to cope up with this arrogance.  There was  so large  rioting in the history of the Hajj arose, which led to the death of 402 pilgrims, including security men, citizens and pilgrims of various nationalities. After that severance of diplomatic relations has been conducted by Riyadh toward Tehran for a period of three years. Iranian regime started instructing his cronies who had  Kuwaiti and Saudi nationality to carry out several terrorist operations in following three seasons. The most famous pilgrimage accident was Alma’esem tunnel that 1,426 pilgrims of various nationalities have died in it.

The most important question that arises here is why Iran insists to create this chaos and confusion in the pilgrimage season each year. Khomeini was dreaming to lead the Islamic world and found that Saudi Arabia including its god (ALLAH) blessed economic strength and political stability and the most important its position at the Islamic world because of embracing the Two Holy Mosques and the holy sites were the first obstacle that prevented him to reach this leadership. Hence,  Iranian regime pears pardon to work on sabotage the Saudi image in the world and among the Islamic peoples. Khomeini understood that  Hajj is the most prominent point that may enable him to achieve his goal., Therefore, he worked on jamming the pilgrims, bringing chaos and spreading of terror among the visitors of Ka’ba and the Mosque of the Prophet, peace be upon him. Khomeini ordered in 1982 to establish the propaganda of Hajj office in the Ministry of Islamic Guidance in Iran in order to work on the formulation of political slogans and processing banners, which would be  risen in Hajj season. Khomeini asserts that the political aspect is one of the most important secrets of Hajj season and It is even more important of duties and pillars of Hajj, and everyone must deliver the message of the Iranian Republic to the pilgrims in Makkah. In 1983, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, a member of scholars of the Guardian Council that time, and currently the Secretary of the Guardian Council had launched comments directed toward officials of the Iranian raft campaigns urging them to spread the principles of revolution during the Hajj season. Jannati said that it is from your tasks to export the revolution and the best opportunity is the Hajj season. To achieve this goal, Iran was sending many translators of Revolutionary Guards who were fluent in several foreign languages, in order to make a propaganda campaign among pilgrims in the interest of Iranian regime and to export sectarian revolution.

The Saudi embassy in Iran was putting a sticker on each passport of the Iranian pilgrims since 1982 to confirm the necessity to adhere the regulations and laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and warns pilgrims from the act of distributing leaflets or images of propaganda and every activity that is not linked with the rite of Hajj. Moreover, verdicts of liable punishment and deportation were constructed by Saudi territory against Iranian Hai who show any disrespect to pilgrims and Umra worship including delay of Haj performance. Iranian newspapers, particularly “Ettelaat”  published this poster inciting pilgrims not to pay attention to any of these punishments   claiming that Saudi Arabia’s conduct towards Iran  forms evidence of the fears of the Kingdom’s of Saudi Arabia from  Iranian evolution.

With the salience of Hajj file again this year, albeit in a different way, the Iranian regime aims to achieve two main objectives. Firstly, Iran wants to sabotage the kingdom’s image in front of the Islamic peoples and spreading rumors that the Kingdom preventing Muslims from performing Hajj. There is a statement of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah that cleared the position of the Kingdom and evade of Iranian side from signing the Hajj agreement that was signed by all Muslim countries around the world. Secondly, Iran wants to fight back a political creed regarding Saudi Arabia’s decision of severance of diplomatic relations with Iran and the subsequent diplomatic acts of Gulf, Arab and Islamic countries. Tehran was saying over the past few months that, Saudi Arabia would seek to restore relations with Iran. To trick Riyadh, Tehran insets Hajj file in the political crisis in a way to demand to open the Saudi consulate in Iran so that Iranian pilgrims can obtain Hajj visas instead of going to a third country. If this goal achieved, Iran will say to other countries, which have taken political stances towards Tehran after the Saudi severance of relations that Riyadh was seeking to achieve their own targets. That is. Riyadh has implicated you as countries in this diplomatic and political decision has now abandoned you restoring  its relations with us.

As a reminder, Saudi Arabia confirmed that Iranian pilgrims can apply for an electronic visa and therefore no need for human intervention or presence on Iranian territory, however Tehran continues to insist on this position for the above-mentioned reasons.

In conclusion, Iran will continue attempts to tamper with the security of pilgrims and their safety by raising slogans and the establishing rallies and marches that are not linkedto the rite of Hajj. I think that there is a need to re-examine some of the facilities obtained by the Iranians, as Muslims are equal in Hajj season. For this reason the distribution of publications and sermons of Supreme leader on the day of Arafah push Saudi authorities apply strict regulations against  Iranians as it does so with the other pilgrims away from  exceptions or compliments. The language of firmness is the prevalent until Iranian regime be aware that the tamper with the security of Hajj is a red line. Any way, if Iran wants to raise political slogans, so it has 350 days to raise death, murder cursing slogans during this period but this should be done away from Hajj and the Holy places.

Translated Article: Alwatan Newspaper

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