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Iran: Riyadh warns visiting pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has warned visiting pilgrims to focus on religion and leave politics to one side when performing Hajj this year. Media minister Turki Bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah on 9 July urged visitors to refrain from “raising any political or doctrinal slogans”, following comments on 3 July by Iran’s Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the Hajj was “a political act”; he criticised Saudi security measures around the pilgrimage. More than 86,000 Iranians are scheduled to perform Hajj this year. The regional rivals have fallen out over the Hajj before.

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