Iranian pilgrims Can Now Travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah

Iranian pilgrims traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, a pilgrimage Muslims can undertake any time of year. This marks the first time in nearly ten years that Iranian Muslims have been allowed to participate in Umrah. The resumption of Umrah travel follows a period of strained relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iranian pilgrims are now able to go to Saudi Arabia for Umrah, a pilgrimage they couldn’t do for almost ten years because of problems between Iran and Saudi Arabia. As reported by Iran’s official news agency, the first group of pilgrims left Iran to go to Saudi Arabia from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport.

“The first group of Umrah pilgrims departed Iran for Saudi Arabia through the Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran,” Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

This is happening after Iran and Saudi Arabia decided to fix their relationship with the help of China last year. They agreed to reopen their embassies after not talking for more than nine years.

Last year, Iranians were allowed to go to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, but they couldn’t do Umrah until now.

Cause Of Problem

In 2016, Saudi Arabia and Iran stopped talking to each other after some people attacked Saudi diplomatic buildings in Iran. This happened because Saudi Arabia executed a Shia religious leader, Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr. Many countries and groups criticized Saudi Arabia for this. Ayatollah Nimr was popular among young people because he spoke against the Saudi Arabian government and wanted free elections in the country.

Iranian media had said for a few months that people could go to Makkah for Umrah. However, lots of multiple problems made it keep getting delayed.

This year, over 5,700 Iranian pilgrims are expected to undertake the pilgrimage. The first group of pilgrims were seen off at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran by officials from both Iran and Saudi Arabia, including the Saudi ambassador to Iran.

Also See: What Are Miqats for Hajj and Umrah?

Umrah, unlike Hajj, is a minor pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of year. It is a deeply spiritual journey for Muslims, involving visits to sacred sites in Mecca and Medina. The resumption of Umrah travel is seen as a positive step towards improved relations between the two regional powers.


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