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Photo of the Kaaba and a sea of people making their hajj Source: wikimedia commons

Photo of the Kaaba and a sea of people making their hajj Source: wikimedia commons

Vice News by River Donaghey

Authorities in Iran have announced plans to bar Iranian citizens from making a hajj to the Saudi Arabian cities of Mecca and Medina, CNN reports. The country is also freezing all Saudi imports.

Tensions between the two Middle Eastern countries have been rising recently, after Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran following an attack on the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran. This latest move shows just how much their relationship has deteriorated, and a pilgrimage ban is more than just symbolic[…]

More than a half-million Iranians make the Hajj to Mecca and Medina every year so I do not expect either side to take the ban lightly.

In the case of Saudi Arabia, that is lost revenue and in the case of the Iranians or any Muslim for that matter, such a ban is unthinkable.

Not sure if banning Iranians from making the hajj ranks up there with drawing a photo of the prophet Mohammad or burning the Koran but unless the Iranian government walks the ban back, the world may soon find out.  Civil war?