Iranian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia: Hajj Bolsters Relations between our Countries

Muslim Hajj pilgrims pray around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on June 16, 2024, as they perform the farewell circumambulation or "tawaf". (AFP)
Muslim Hajj pilgrims pray around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on June 16, 2024, as they perform the farewell circumambulation or "tawaf". (AFP)
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Iranian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia: Hajj Bolsters Relations between our Countries

Muslim Hajj pilgrims pray around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on June 16, 2024, as they perform the farewell circumambulation or "tawaf". (AFP)
Muslim Hajj pilgrims pray around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on June 16, 2024, as they perform the farewell circumambulation or "tawaf". (AFP)

Iranian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Alireza Enayati stressed on Sunday that the Hajj helps forge relations of friendship between Muslims, adding that Tehran places great importance on its ties with Riyadh.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said Iran will continue to strengthen relations with the Kingdom at the directives of the two countries’ leaderships.

On Iranian Hajj pilgrims, he said they are organized and have completed their holy rituals smoothly and at ease.

He underscored the complete coordination between the Iranian Hajj mission and Saudi authorities, whom he thanked for their major accomplishment of organizing the annual pilgrimage.

Saudi Arabia and Iran restored their relations in March 2023 through a China-mediated agreement. They resumed Umrah trips in April 2023.

Over 1.8 million pilgrims performed this year’s Hajj, said Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. Among them were 90,000 Iranian pilgrims.

Iran believes the Hajj is one way to get closer to God and for Muslims to achieve rapprochement with each other because the pilgrimage brings together the faithful from all around the world, remarked Enayati.

Moreover, he noted that the Hajj was just one way for Saudi Arabia and Iran to strengthen their ties.

The ambassador also congratulated the Iranian pilgrims and Saudi Arabia’s government and people on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.



Oman Terror Attack: Perpetrators Pledged Allegiance to ISIS

Muscat, Oman (AFP)
Muscat, Oman (AFP)
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Oman Terror Attack: Perpetrators Pledged Allegiance to ISIS

Muscat, Oman (AFP)
Muscat, Oman (AFP)

The identities of the “three terrorist brothers” who attacked a mosque in Muscat on Monday night have shocked Oman, a country not used to such incidents.

A video from ISIS showed the brothers pledging allegiance to the terror group’s leader before the attack.

The Royal Oman Police said the brothers, who were Omani, died after resisting security forces. Investigations revealed they were influenced by extremist ideas.

According to available information, the three brothers held prestigious positions.

One had a PhD and worked in a key government ministry, and he had hosted television programs about Oman’s development, which are available on YouTube.

The second brother worked at the central bank, and the third was employed by the municipality.

A video featuring their fourth brother, Sultan Al-Hasani, a former singer who had renounced his career, showed him condemning his brothers, denouncing their actions as bloodshed and a threat to national security.

On Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on Imam Ali Mosque in Wadi Kabir, Muscat.

The attack targeted residents observing Ashura, killing six people, including a police officer, and injuring around 28 others. The three attackers were also killed.

A video released by ISIS’s Amaq news agency, which has not been verified by official sources, showed the three brothers who carried out the attack standing in front of the group’s black flag, pledging allegiance to “Abu Hafs,” referring to the group’s leader, Abu Hafs al-Hashimi.

Abu Hafs became the fifth leader of ISIS on August 3, 2023, following the death of his predecessor, Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi, in battle, as announced in an audio recording by ISIS spokesman Abu Hudhayfah al-Ansari.

In a video released by ISIS, a speaker believed to be Hamad Al-Hasani justified the mosque attack with sectarian rhetoric, inciting Arab youth to rebellion and criticizing religious scholars.

He also attacked the West, led by the United States, accusing it of waging “the greatest ideological, military, media, and economic war against Muslims in general, and ISIS in particular.”