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Official: Iran suspends participation in Umrah

Head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organisation, Hamid Mohammadi said yesterday that citizens of his country will not participate in the performance of Umrah this year, citing political reasons and the lack of the necessary arrangements.

"The Iranians cannot be sent to perform the Umrah ritual this year because of the lack of political communication between Tehran and Riyadh," Mohammadi was quoted as saying.

"The resumption of Iranians' participation in the performance of Umrah needs special mechanisms," he added.

Discussions will take place between Iran and Saudi Arabia regarding the resumption of performing the Islamic rite.

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The official pointed out that the negotiations with Saudi Arabia this year dealt only with the Hajj season and did not discuss the performance of Umrah.

"There is serious planning for the next pilgrimage and preparations are underway for negotiations now," he added.

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