Thursday August 11, 2022

Iran asks Saudi to release citizen arrested during Haj

August 06, 2022

TEHRAN: Iran on Friday called on Saudi Arabia to release one of its nationals arrested during the Haj pilgrimage, as the two regional rivals engage in talks to mend severed relations.

The Islamic republic revealed the arrest in a foreign ministry statement about a phone call between Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein. Iraq has been mediating the talks between its two neighbours since April last year.

"In this call, Iran’s foreign minister followed up on the fate of an Iranian national arrested in Saudi Arabia during the Haj pilgrimage and called (on the Iraqi FM) to convey a message for their release," the statement said.

It did not provide further details on the identity of the citizen or the reason for the detention during the hajj annual Muslim pilgrimage last month. Nearly 780,000 pilgrims from abroad attended this year’s Haj, according to Saudi officials.

Regional rivals Tehran and Riyadh have had no relations since 2016 when Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed cleric Nimr al-Nimr.