Riyadh: After an absence last year during tensions between tensions between the regional rivals, this year arrangement for Iranian nationals to participate in the upcoming annual Haj pilgrimage have been completed, Saudi Arabia on Friday said.
"The ministry of haj and the Iranian organisation have completed all the necessary measures to ensure Iranian pilgrims perform haj 1438 according to the procedures followed by all Muslim countries," the official Saudi Press Agency confirmed, referring to this year in the Islamic calendar.
For the first time in nearly three decades, Iran's pilgrims which would have numbered about 60,000 did not attended the Haj in 2016 after the two countries failed to agree on security and logistics.
Riyadh and Tehran have no diplomatic relations, and tension remained as Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia repeatedly accusing Iran of fueling regional conflicts by supporting armed Shia movements in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.
But the Saudi Haj ministry said that that the kingdom, the birth place of Islam, welcomes " all pilgrims from all the different nationalities and backgrounds".
Custodian of Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia organise the annual Haj, one of the five pillars of Islam which every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to is obliged to undertake at least once in a lifetime.
Three years between 1988 and 1990, Iran boycotted the Haj after clashes between Iranian pilgrims and Saudi police in 1987 which left around 400 people dead.
In 1991, diplomatic ties were restored but relations have degraded once again in recent years, particularly over the countries support of opposing sides in the Syria and Yemen wars.
In January last year, relations were severed again after Iranian demonstrators torched Saudi Arabia's embassy and a consulate following Saudi Arabia's execution of a Shia figure along with 47 "terrorists".