Iran Says Committed to Hajj Agreement with Riyadh

Muslim pilgrims pray around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual Hajj in Makkah, September 22. Reuters
Muslim pilgrims pray around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual Hajj in Makkah, September 22. Reuters
TT

Iran Says Committed to Hajj Agreement with Riyadh

Muslim pilgrims pray around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual Hajj in Makkah, September 22. Reuters
Muslim pilgrims pray around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual Hajj in Makkah, September 22. Reuters

Riyadh- Upon the arrival of 23,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, an official from the Iranian pilgrimage office announced his country’s commitment to bilateral agreements signed with Riyadh, covering the pilgrims’ arrival to the airport, the days they will pass at the holy sites and finally their departure.

The official also expressed gratitude for the good services and treatment presented to the Iranian mission in Jeddah and Medina airports.

During a phone call with Asharq Al-Awsat, executive assistant at the office Nasser Hawsawi said that the last Iranian mission is expected to arrive at the kingdom on the third of Zulhijja, making a total of 86,000 Iranian pilgrims.

Hawsawi denied any different points of view between Saudi Arabia and Iran on Hajj-related topics.

The insistence of the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization of Iran in 2016 to carry out some rituals unrelated to Hajj led to Iran's rejection to sign the Hajj agreement with the Kingdom, depriving Iranian pilgrims from performing Hajj.

In response to a question on what has been agreed upon with the Saudis, Hawsawi stated that “the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization of Iran has notified hajj convoys of the agreement and they will commit to it.”

He added that the Iranian convoys are well known for their organization, discipline, potentials and residence.

Commenting on the bilateral agreement to transport Iranian pilgrims, Hawsawi noted that Saudi Arabian Airlines and Iran Air are the exclusive carriers of Iranian pilgrims.



Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)
TT

Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)

A fire broke out at a hospital in Iran's north, killing nine patients, state media reported Tuesday.

The blaze started at 1:30 local time (2200GMT) at Qaem Hospital in the city of Rasht, some 330 kilometers (about 205 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran, state TV said, leaving six women and three men dead.

Chief of the city fire department, Shahram Momeni, said on state TV that an electric short circuit in the basement — which harbors the intensive care unit — malfunctioned, causing the fire.

Momeni said emergency workers rescued more than 140 people, patients and hospital staff, after being trapped because of the smoke, and that 120 of them were hospitalized in other medical facilities. He added that an investigation has been ordered.

A video posted online appeared to show smoke billowing from the hospital in the middle of the night.

Iranian media occasionally report on fires in hospitals and clinics that are mainly blamed on technical issues.

In 2020, an explosion from a gas leak in a medical clinic in northern Tehran killed 19 people.