Hojat-ol-Islam Seyed Ali Qazi-Askar, the representative of Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Hajj and pilgrimage affairs, said a draft of the proposals has been given to Saudi Hajj officials.
If the conditions demanded by Iran about safeguarding the dignity of Iranian pilgrims are met, just as the Hajj pilgrimage, it is hoped that sending Umrah pilgrims will also be achieved, he said.
Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to Ḥajj which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
The official further said that talks have been held between the two countries’ related officials about the cases of the Iranian pilgrims martyred in two separate incidents at the Grand Mosque and Mina in 2015.
Like in 2017, more than 85,000 Iranian pilgrims made the Hajj pilgrimage this year.
In 2016, more than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj, but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.
On September 24, 2015, thousands of people lost their lives in the deadly crush after Saudi authorities blocked a road in Mina during a ritual, forcing large crowds of pilgrims to collide.
The crush was the deadliest incident in the history of the pilgrimage. According to an Associated Press count based on official statements from the 36 countries that lost citizens in the disaster, more than 2,400 pilgrims were killed in the incident.
Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed, but officials at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people, including over 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.
A few days before the deadly crush, a crane collapse at the Grand Mosque in Mecca left at least 107 pilgrims, including several Iranians, dead and more than 230 others injured.