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Iran Boycotts Hajj Pilgrimage Amid Discord With Saudi Arabia

Muslim pilgrims pray at the holy Kaaba at Mecca's Grand Mosque during the annual hajj rituals in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Muslim pilgrims pray at the holy Kaaba at Mecca's Grand Mosque during the annual hajj rituals in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Photographer: Abid Katib/Getty Images

Iran will boycott the Hajj pilgrimage in a further sign of deteriorating relations with Saudi Arabia, exacerbated by the death of hundreds of Iranian pilgrims in a stampede outside Mecca last year.

“Given the treatment and rhetoric by Saudi officials in two rounds of talks with the Iranian delegation and the obstacles created, in effect Hajj won’t be possible,” Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency cited Culture Minister Ali Jannati as saying on Sunday. “Unfortunately, Iranian pilgrims won’t be able to make it to Mecca this year.”