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Saudi Arabia to allow temporary Iran consulates during haj

Iran will be allowed to set up temporary consulates in Saudi Arabia during the hajj pilgrimage despite the absence of diplomatic ties between the two rivals.

The foreign ministry in Tehran said today that some officials from the foreign ministry’s consular section will be deployed to Jeddah, Mecca and Medina to provide consular services to Iranian pilgrims during the hajj.

Iranians were unable to attend the hajj last year after talks on security and logistics fell apart. But an agreement was reached earlier this year to allow Iranians to take pat in this September’s hajj.

The two countries severed diplomatic ties in January 2016 after Iranians stormed Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran in response to the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

The region’s two leading powers back opposing sides in several conflicts, including in Syria and Yemen.

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