Speaking in a meeting of the Council for Planning and Coordination, affiliated to the Leader’s Hajj Representatives Office, Hamid Mohammadi added that the rest of the visas will be issued by the Saudi side without any problems and the first batch of Iranian pilgrims will leave for the Land of Revelation (Mecca and Medina).
Some 85,000 Iranian pilgrims will take part in Hajj this year.
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 incidents.
Two weeks earlier, on September 11, 2015, a huge construction crane collapsed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 pilgrims, including several Iranians, and injuring over 200 others in the lead-up to the annual Hajj pilgrimage.