Al Arabiya– The Saudi political analyst and head of the Arabian Gulf Center for Iranian Studies (AGCIS), Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami, has directed a Persian message to Iranians wishing to carry out the Hajj pilgrimage who believe they can’t now do so, contradicting the Iranian regime’s recent statements. He stressed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes them to perform the annual pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, adding that the Saudi Kingdom does not care about the Iranian regime’s actions and policies, but only about serving God (Allah).
Al-Sulami said that Iranian pilgrims are already travelling to the Kingdom to perform Hajj despite the Iranian regime’s insistence that no citizens should travel there for Hajj this year.
In an intervention with Al Arabiya’s Montaha Ramahi on the channel’s “Panorama” program, Al-Sulami said, “I say to the Iranian people that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people welcome all Shiite and Sunni pilgrims, Iranians or non-Iranians,” adding that the Kingdom only pursues God’s (Allah’s) satisfaction.
The AGCIS head continued, “Iranian people should know that t Iranians have already arrived in Mecca, and some of them are on their way to perform Hajj breaking their leaders’ word who wanted to warn them against performing Hajj.
Addressing the Iranian people, he continued, “If you are keen to perform the Hajj rituals you can do so. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes you, and you can travel to any country to get a visa.”
He added, “The words of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef were clear and evident, as was the statement from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah welcoming the Iranians and we have no objection to them performing Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, but [we object] to their using any harmful slogans.”
Al-Sulami said that the ratio of Iranian Hajj pilgrims to those of other nationalities does not exceed one or two percent of the 3 million pilgrims. He added that there are no exceptions for Iran or anyone else and there is no compromise on pilgrims’ security, with the leadership doing its utmost to ensure that the Hajj rituals can be carried out as safely, easily and conveniently as possible.
He added that “We have received documents revealing Iran’s desire to politicize the Hajj and to draw political slogans on the Kaaba , with the Iranian press publishing cartoons depicting the Kaaba painted with Persian slogans such as ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’.” He continued, “They want to turn the Kaaba into a fetish symbol like the slogans on the walls of Mashhad against America and Israel, a reference to graffiti insulting the two nations spray-painted on the city walls by regime loyalists last year, which the Supreme Leader immediately ordered to be cleaned off.
Finally, Al-Sulami revealed, “The Iranian regime approves and endorses the US and Israel in secret while only being hostile to them in public, and the Iranian people should know that.”