Head of Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Hojjatoleslam Hassan Mousavi says more than 8 million Iranians have registered for Umrah trip while the country dispatches only 800,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia annually for Umrah purpose. The total population of Iran is 75 million and more than 95% of people are Muslim.
Talking to his Russian counterpart, Hassan Mousavi offered Iran’s experiences to Russia for transporting and accommodating pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during the peak times. “The Saudi Arabian government has always appreciated the efforts put by Iran’s government in Hajj fields. Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to help Russia in organizing pilgrims in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.”
“In the last two months, we have dispatched more than 240,000 people to Saudi Arabia for Umrah purpose. Currently 8 million people have registered for this journey, but we are limited in sending more pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. We have already asked the government of Saudi Arabia to expedite the expansion project of Haramain Sharifain. By completing the expansion projects, Iran will be able to dispatch more pilgrims for Umrah and Hajj purposes.” Hojjatoleslam Hassan Mousavi added.
Mousavi also went on to talk about Iran’s cooperations with Syria and Iraq in this regard. “Before the Syrian crisis, Islamic Republic used to dispatch 1 million pilgrims to that country. However, we have stopped our operations in Syria due to security problems. Iran is still continuing its partnership with Iraq. Around 1 million Iranians visit Iraqi holy cities each year.”