After a stampede during the Hajj killed a large number of Iranian citizens, Tehrani accusations against Saudi Arabia do not cease. September 5 the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed the Muslims of the world to weigh properly the issue of control of Saudi Arabia over the main shrine of Islam – Mecca and Medina. We asked this question to Theodore Karasik, Senior Advisor to Gulf State Analytics in Washington DC.
Do you think there really are deficiencies in the organization of the Hajj or the Iranian authorities thus continue their information war against Saudi Arabia?
The war of words between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the Hajj all rests on Tehran’s behavior and comments. Iran is still upset at last year’s stampede “incident” that killed hundreds. Iran is trying to make the case that the Kingdom is incompetent and unable to manage the Hajj safely and securely. This is an information war against the Custodianship of the Two Holy Mosques.
Saudi Arabia approaches Hajj security with state of the art technology and specific manpower requirements to ensure a healthy environment. While the Kingdom is managing and taking into consideration all aspects of this important pillar of Islam, Tehran seeks to make the Hajj political. That’s bad news.