Iran says its pilgrims attend Hajj this year, Riyadh confirms

Saudi Arabia says Iranian citizens will attend this year's annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, after missing last year's event following a bitter rift between Riyadh and Tehran.

The Saudi side, also, confirmed the news.

"The ministry of hajj and the Iranian organization have completed all the necessary measures to ensure Iranian pilgrims perform hajj 1438 according to the procedures followed by all Muslim countries", the official Saudi Press Agency said in a statement Friday, referring to the Islamic calendar.

Saudi emergency personnel stand near bodies of Hajj pilgrims at the site of a stampede in Mina, near Mecca, in September 2015.

In 2017 Iran will send 85,000 people to the global religious event, to take place in the fall, the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said in an announcement published on its website March 18.

Iranian pilgrims did not participate in the Haj past year for the first time in almost three decades, after Riyadh and Tehran failed to agree on security and logistics.

More than 1.8 million faithful took part in the 2016 Hajj, but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.

The visits to countries that are some of world's biggest importers of Saudi oil aim to promote investment opportunities in the kingdom, including the sale of a stake in national oil company Saudi Aramco.

Ties worsened in January previous year when protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in response to Saudi Arabia's execution of a Shiite cleric convicted of terrorism, leading Riyadh to sever diplomatic ties.

After losing market share to Russian Federation past year, Saudi Arabia has sought to boost oil sales to China, the world's second-largest oil market, by working mostly with China's top three state oil firms.

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