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Last updateFri, 18 Aug 2017 11am

Iranian return to hajj could help end Saudi deadlock

Saudi2
Al-monitor —
 For the first time in two years, Tehran has sent Iranian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj pilgrimage. Although this can be considered a positive step toward reducing tension between the two sides, it is naive to think that developments such as this will solve the existing problems between Tehran and Riyadh.


AUTHOR Saeid Jafari
 

Iran’s decision to end its boycott of the hajj, which followed the 2015 stampede that left 465 of its citizens dead, comes at a time when tension with Saudi Arabia is at its peak. While Riyadh severed ties in early 2016 following the storming of its diplomatic facilities in Iran by protesters furious about Saudi Arabia’s execution of a

Read more: Iranian return to hajj could help end Saudi deadlock

Beheading of IRGC fighter unites Iranians

ISIS
Al-monitor  -
 Imagery of the decapitated body of Mohsen Hojjaji, a fighter from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who was dispatched to Syria, surfaced on Iranian social media Aug. 9. Earlier, the Islamic State (IS) had shared video of Hojjaji's capture on the Syrian-Iraqi border during a surprise attack that left a number of people dead. Iranian officials and social media users immediately sent their condolences to his parents and wife and

Read more: Beheading of IRGC fighter unites Iranians

Rouhani, Reformists battle over Cabinet picks

Rouhani1
AL-monitor -
 President Hassan Rouhani attended his endorsement ceremony Aug. 3 with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the heads of the other two branches of government. The more significant day for Rouhani, however, will be his swearing-in ceremony Aug. 5, when, in front of an open session of parliament, he will introduce his new Cabinet. Reports that Rouhani consulted with Khamenei over potential candidates have caused the president considerable

Read more: Rouhani, Reformists battle over Cabinet picks

Iran MPs under fire for 'embarrassing' selfies with Mogherini

parliament
BBC -
 Members of the Iranian parliament have found themselves under fire for "strange" behaviour involving the EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini.


She was in Iran for President Hassan Rouhani's inauguration on Saturday when she found herself the centre of attention on the parliament floor.

Photos showed Ms Mogherini surrounded by a number of male MPs, taking photos.

Many social media users criticised the MPs, ridiculing them or labelling their actions

Read more: Iran MPs under fire for 'embarrassing' selfies with Mogherini

Saudi engagement with Iraqi Shiites stirs talk of opening with Iran

Saudi
Al-monitor -
 On May 2, Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman (now the crown prince) said in a television interview that dialogue with Iran was impossible due to Iranians' belief in the Shiite Messiah. "Their stance is that the awaited Mahdi will come, and they need to create a fertile environment for the arrival of the awaited Mahdi, and they need to take over the Islamic world," bin Salman said when he was deputy crown prince. He then asked, "Where are the

Read more: Saudi engagement with Iraqi Shiites stirs talk of opening with Iran