Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for closer bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia and a resolution of differences between Tehran and Riyadh. Addressing Iranian Hajj officials in Tehran, Rouhani referred to Saudi Arabia as a brotherly and friendly country which shares a great deal of interests with Iran, stressing the need for the promotion of ties and cooperation between the two countries.
“This issue has been highlighted both in a congratulatory letter from Saudi Arabia King [Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud] to me, and in my thank-you letter to him, and both sides are ready to eliminate minor tensions to guarantee the mutual interests and those of the Muslim world,” he said.Rouhani also stressed the significance of Hajj as the greatest congregation of Muslims which provides an opportunity for Muslim nations to tighten their ranks. “Hajj must symbolize unity, integrity, kindness and brotherhood of the Muslim Ummah,” he urged. The Iranian chief executive stated that every Iranian Hajj pilgrim can represent the Iranian culture and the Shia faith in the greatest gathering of Muslims. Hajj, the largest act of mass pilgrimage in the world, is considered one of the five pillars of Islam, and every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it is obliged to perform the pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime. The holy pilgrimage is viewed as a demonstration of Muslims’ unity and their submission to Allah. MRS/SS/HMV