Iran has announced it’s stopped Umrah flights to Saudi Arabia for Muslims wanting to visit the holy city of Mecca for Umrah pilgrimages. Officials say there’s a disagreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia about aviation rules and permits. This was supposed to be the first time Iranians could travel to Mecca in 8 years.
Iran suspended Umrah flights to Saudi Arabia for Umrah pilgrims abruptly. Just the time when people were about to travel to the holy land after almost 8 years. The decision was a surprise, with Iran Air citing a ‘technical disagreement’ as the reason. On the international level, there are so many questions arise about this sudden decision.
The Islamic Republic News Agency confirmed that scheduled pilgrimage flights from Tehran, Mashhad, and Isfahan to Jeddah on Wednesday were canceled due to a lack of permits from Saudi authorities. While some observers suggest a ‘political’ reason behind the suspension. Iran’s Minister of Culture, Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili, assured that it’s just a “technical disagreement” between aviation authorities.
Officials in Iran say the pause is necessary to address some technical issues with the flight arrangements. People who are working closely with their Saudi counterparts to resolve the matter quickly. They emphasized that the suspension is temporary and that Umrah flights will resume soon.
Last month, Iran confirmed the resumption of Umrah flights, expressing the potential to send 800,000 to one million pilgrims annually with favorable conditions and cooperation. This marked a significant moment following the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia in March 2023, after a break since 2015.
The suspension follows the controversy surrounding the 2015 Hajj stampede, which led to tensions between the two nations. The resumption of Umrah was considered a positive step resulting from China-mediated negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. However, the recent suspension has sparked concerns and raised questions about diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Amid Palestine and Jordan issues, it is quite disturbing to see more chaos happening in the Muslim world. We need to get united and come to a common ground to promote peace and harmony in the world.