Speaking to reporters on Monday, Bahram Qassemi added that extensive talks have been held with the Saudis, who are responsible for the safety of pilgrims, and they have given Iran the necessary guarantees about this issue.
Noting that there are no diplomatic ties between Tehran and Riyadh, he said Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization undertook negotiations with the Saudis on this year’s Hajj pilgrimage and necessary agreements were reached between the two sides earlier this year.
According to the agreements, he noted, ten Iranian foreign ministry staff will be in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj season to provide Iranian pilgrims with consular services.
This year, Iran will send some 86,500 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Hajj.
Iran announced in mid-March that applicants can go on Hajj pilgrimage this year following negotiations with Saudi officials after a hiatus in the wake of a diplomatic row with the kingdom.
In 2016, more than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj, but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.
On September 24, 2015, thousands of people lost their lives in the deadly crush after Saudi authorities blocked a road in Mina during a ritual, forcing large crowds of pilgrims to collide.
The crush was the deadliest incident in the history of the pilgrimage. According to an Associated Press count based on official statements from the 36 countries that lost citizens in the disaster, more than 2,400 pilgrims were killed in the incident.