Mecca province governor Prince Khaled al-Faisal, responding to Iranian criticism of Riyadh’s management of the hajj (pilgrimage), urged Iran to end what he called wrong attitudes toward Arabs, and warned it against any use of force in its rivalry with the Kingdom, reported The Independent.
he also told the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the orderly conduct of the pilgrimage this year “is a response to all the lies and slanders made against the kingdom”, which follow an escalating war of words between Shi’ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia since a crush at the annual hajj a year ago, where hundreds of pilgrims, many of them Iranians, died.
SPA quoted Prince Khaled as telling journalists his message to the Iranian leadership, which was “I pray to God Almighty to guide them and to deter them from their transgression and their wrong attitudes toward their fellow Muslim among the Arabs in Iraq, Syria+ , Yemen and around the world”.
“But if they are preparing an army to invade us, we are not easily taken by someone who would make war on us”, outlined and added “When we desire, and with the help of God Almighty, we will deter every aggressor and will never relent in protecting this holy land and our dear country. No one can defile any part from our country if any one of us remains on earth.”
According to New Europe, no government official in Iran has mentioned the term “war” in their accusations against Saudi Arabia.
In fact, the symbolic standoff between Iran and Saudi escalated in January 2016, when the Kingdom executed the Saudi Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards vowing revenge.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, cranked up the war of words between his country and Saudi Arabia in a Wednesday op-ed for the New York Times, accusing the Saudis of using their “tainted petrodollars” to spread the “death cult” of Wahhabi Islam, said breitbart.
According to breitbart, the Iranian minister argued that the rivalry between Sunni and Shiite Muslims was nothing compared to “the reality that the worst bloodshed in the region is caused by Wahhabists fighting fellow Arabs and murdering fellow Sunnis.”
Annually More than two million pilgrims visit Mecca during Hajj and nine million during the Umrah, according to the Saudi Gazette.