RELIGION

Iran says no Iranian pilgrims at next hajj, blames Riyadh

  • Head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi speaks in a news conference in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, June 2, 2016. Iran officially announced on Thursday that it won't be sending pilgrims to the hajj this year, blaming Saudi Arabia for the move and claiming the kingdom has failed to provide adequate security for the pilgrims. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

    Head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi speaks in a news conference in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, June 2, 2016. Iran officially announced on Thursday that it won't be sending pilgrims to the hajj this year, blaming Saudi Arabia for the move and claiming the kingdom has failed to provide adequate security for the pilgrims. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Journalists adjust their microphones ahead of a press conference held by head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi, center, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, June 2, 2016. Iran officially announced on Thursday that it won't be sending pilgrims to the hajj this year, blaming Saudi Arabia for the move and claiming the kingdom has failed to provide adequate security for the pilgrims. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

    Journalists adjust their microphones ahead of a press conference held by head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi, center, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, June 2, 2016. Iran officially announced on Thursday that it won't be sending pilgrims to the hajj this year, blaming Saudi Arabia for the move and claiming the kingdom has failed to provide adequate security for the pilgrims. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi speaks in a news conference in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, June 2, 2016. Iran officially announced on Thursday that it won't be sending pilgrims to the hajj this year, blaming Saudi Arabia for the move and claiming the kingdom has failed to provide adequate security for the pilgrims. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

    Head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi speaks in a news conference in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, June 2, 2016. Iran officially announced on Thursday that it won't be sending pilgrims to the hajj this year, blaming Saudi Arabia for the move and claiming the kingdom has failed to provide adequate security for the pilgrims. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)  (The Associated Press)

Iran has officially announced it won't be sending pilgrims to the hajj this year and is blaming Saudi Arabia, claiming the kingdom has failed to provide adequate security for the pilgrims.

The hajj has become a contentious issue as tensions between the two Mideast powers escalated after last year's hajj disaster killed at least 2,426 people.

Saeed Ohadi, head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, said on Thursday that "Saudi Arabia knows it will pay a heavy price" for its behavior.

In the wake of the 2015 disaster, Iran had demanded additional security guarantees but a second round of talks in Saudi Arabia this week failed to resolve the issue.

Ohadi says Riyadh sought to restrict the number of makeshift clinics Iran had wanted to set up for its pilgrims.