News Update

Sexual assault an issue in stopping Iranian pilgrims to visit Saudi Arabian holy places?

Saudi officials have said that they would hang these people, but nothing has happened yet.

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Saudi officials have said that they would hang these people, but nothing has happened yet. Iran has officially suspended Umrah Hajj pilgrimage flights to Saudi Arabia, said Iranian Minister of Culture Ali Jannati.

Iran suspends pilgrimage flights to Saudi Arabia over sexual assault allegations, ISNA news agency reports.

Within the last four days both countries blocked flights between the two countries due to policy violation and alleged sexual assault.

Iranian Minister of Culture Ali Jannati said “The Organization of Hajj was ordered to temporarily suspend Umrah Hajj pilgrimage until two criminals are tried and prosecuted,” he said.

”The public dignity of Iranian nation has been damaged given what has happened. A public demand has been formed and a reaction is needed.”

He also said that Iran has pursued the issue diplomatically and Saudi officials had promised to prosecute the two arrested culprits.

The allegation: Saudi officers sexually harassed two Iranian teenage pilgrims at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah two weeks ago, prompting Tehran to submit a note of complaint to the Saudi government, according to Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Marziyeh Afkham.

She said on Wednesday that the Foreign Ministry has also summoned the Saudi chargé d’affaires to ask Riyadh to expedite the measures taken in the process of punishing the accused.

On Saturday, a group of Iranians gathered in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran in protest over the indecency, chanting anti-Saudi slogans and calling for closure of the embassy as well as cancellation of Umrah Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Four days ago Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) said it blocked an Iranian flight carrying 260 pilgrims from Saudi airspace because it had not got prior clearance, Saudi’s state news agency reported late in Wednesday.

The move follows heightened tension between the two countries as Saudi Arabia continues air strikes against the Iran-allied Houthis in Yemen. Iran’s president called on Thursday for a halt to the military campaign.

SPA said that the procedure was part of international regulations which the Iranian flight did not follow.

About the author


Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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