Iran suspends pilgrim trips to Mecca amid rising tensions

Iran’s Culture Ministry announced Monday that “minor hajj” trips to Mecca had been suspended by Tehran over alleged abuse suffered by two male Iranian pilgrims at Jeddah airport in March. Some 500,000 Iranians visit Saudi Arabia each year for the minor hajj, which involves pilgrims visiting Mecca and Medina, two of Islam's holiest sites.  DEBKAfile: Last Friday, Saudi Arabia announced a ban on Iranian flights to the kingdom for ringing Shiite pilgrims to Mecca. Tehran is now claiming responsibility for the suspension.


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