Daily Management Review

Saudi Arabia Can Lose Billions if Iranians Refuse Hajj


The severance of relations of Saudi Arabia and Iran can bring Riyadh huge losses due to alleged refusal of the Iranian pilgrimage to Mecca.

Al Jazeera English via flickr
Al Jazeera English via flickr
It is reported that about 100 thousand Iranians come to the annual hajj to Saudi Arabia, another 500 thousand commit minor pilgrimage (umrah). Share of Iranians among pilgrims visiting the country is about 5%.

According to data for 2014, the Hajj and Umrah brought about $ 18.6 billion into coffers of Riyadh, representing an amount comparable to the 10% of the country's income from oil sales. According to the calculations of the Saudi economists, every foreign country pilgrim spends about $ 5 thousand during one visit.

Thus, the refusal of the Iranian to commit Hajj of Saudi Arabia can cost up to $ 3 billion.

The waiver of Hajj was not raised during the crisis in relations between the two countries. However, the border visa regime is still actual. After the closure of embassies, it is unclear how the Iranians will be able to obtain a Saudi Arabian visa.

Earlier it was reported that all Iranian diplomats left Saudi Arabia.

Also on Thursday, January 7, Iranian news agency ISNA reported that Iran has banned supply of all products from Saudi Arabia. This is explained by the rupture of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Tehran.

In addition, Tehran accused Saudi air forces in the attack on the Iranian Embassy in the capital Sana'a, Yemen, said Iran's state news channel IRIB.

"This is deliberate and conscious action of the Saudi authorities is a violation of all international conventions and international law for the protection and inviolability of diplomatic missions in all conditions, so that the responsibility for this action and compensation for damage and injuries embassy staff is assigned to the official Riyadh" - said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hussein Jaberi Ansari.
On Thursday, the Sana'a was collapsed by dozens of air strikes. According to local residents, the bombing was the largest in the history of the conflict that continues in Yemen for already nine months.

According to the official representative of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, bombings of the capital of Yemen were aimed at Huthis rocket launchers. He stressed that the Huthis used civilian targets for the installations, including empty embassy, reports Reuters.

Asiri added that the coalition will investigate allegations of Iran that the bombing affected the Iranian embassy and several guards were injured.  

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia sharply deteriorated after the execution of Riyadh Shiite preacher Nimr al Nimr. Then, mass protests were held in Tehran, ending with the attack on the Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

After that, Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations with Iran. Its example was followed by Kuwait, Bahrain and Sudan.

source: forbes.com