Saudi Gazette – Iran is trying to politicize Haj, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdullatif Al-Zayani said here on Wednesday.

He said that the recent comments by Iranian leader Ali Khamenei were “a clear incitement and a desperate attempt to politicize” Haj.

Zayani said the Gulf states “reject the unjust media campaign and the successive declarations of senior Iranian leaders against the Kingdom.”

Such allegations are “totally incompatible with the values and precepts of Islam which extol compassion, love and brotherhood,” he added.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh said that Iranian leaders saw Sunni Muslims as their enemy.

Responding to a question about Monday’s comments by Khamenei, Al-Asheikh said he was not surprised by them.

“We have to understand that they are not Muslims … Their enmity toward Muslims is old and their main enemies are the followers of Sunnah (Sunnis),” he told Makkah Arabic daily on Tuesday.

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, who is also the Chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee, asserted on Monday that Saudi authorities were well-prepared with pre-emptive and precautionary plans to meet any contingencies or untoward incidents during Haj.

Answering a question on Iranian media and senior officials blaming Saudi Arabia for not enabling Iranian pilgrims to perform this year’s Haj, he said that Saudi Arabia, since its inception, has been serving the Two Holy Mosques, taking care of pilgrims and providing them all facilities to perform Haj rituals in comfort and safety.

The Crown Prince said: “What was instigated by Iranian media and some Iranian officials is not based on credibility and objectivity. They very well know that the Kingdom has provided Iranian pilgrims, like others, all facilities. But this year, the Iranian Haj Mission set conditions contrary to the purpose of the pilgrimage and contrary to the commitments of the rest of other Haj missions, in a way that endangered the security of pilgrims, including Iranian pilgrims.

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