The cloud of uncertainty looms large on Hajj amid ongoing Saudi Iran tussle

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Even Hajj can't unify the Saudi Iran strife

The modern world is entirely neither run by the religious solidarity nor the uniformity for any single faith across the board can any more overshadow the conflict of geo political, strategic and economic interest between countries even if they are followers of the same faith. The recent controversy which surrounds between Saudi and Iran on the issue of this year’s Haj pilgrimage  and cast a shadow of uncertainty on the participation of Iranian people in this year’s Haj pilgrimage hosted by Saudi kingdom. The Iranian government and Saudi Kingdom has not been able to come to an agreement on organizations details on this issue yet.

Two rivals in the Middle Eastern politics and skeptical to each other’s clout in the region have not been able to move any further to break the ice in their strained relations which is on  the freeze since January when Saudi Embassy in Tehran was attacked and this incident was followed with Shia cleric’s execution by Saudi Arab.  The atmosphere of suspicion and acrimony is all set to break the solidarity of Islamic Ummah as Saudi Arab and Iran are blaming each other of non cooperation in reaching out any agreement on this issue.  On one hand Saudi Arab minister for Haj has blamed Iranian side to not cooperating enough to reach an agreement with unreasonable demands from their side  and on the other Tehran has thrown allegation of sabotage to the Saudi Arab. It is well known fact that Saudi Arab does not have Iranian diplomatic mission in its country and in this case the visas for Iranian pilgrims can be issued by third party only and Swiss authorities are taking care for the interest of Iran so they want from Riyadh that their visas should be issued from Swiss authorities.

The recent controversy and cloud of uncertainty on the participation of the Iranian pilgrims in this year’s Haj has exposed the stark reality of modern statecraft and modern world where religious solidarity or emotional bondage of religion can not supersede the geo political interest and economic interests of the countries if they are in conflict with each other.  The two big Islamic giants and states in Middle East have always been on opposite  sides in their policies on Middle East and their divergent  stand on Yemen and Syria is the latest example of this difference of opinion for this region  but the latest development on this year’s Haj pilgrimage has larger political as well as strategic implications because this conflict could pave the way for new debate among Iranian people to disengage them from Saudi’s to such an extent that they are ready to sacrifice one of their five  pillars of Islamic faith.

The other most important implication of this strife is the emergence of a western country Switzerland as a mediator between two Islamic countries even though Islamic countries has their own bloc in the name of OIC but none of the member state in this bloc has been able to create much faith in these two countries to agree them to work as a mediator in this dispute.  Almost one century ago the present form of Middle East was manufactured and the ongoing sectarian conflict in Yemen and Syria along with growing hostility and acrimony between Saudi Arab and Iran indicates the future of Middle East which is again on the verge of to be redrawn.