State television in Iran says Islamic Republic suspends hajj trips to Saudi Arabia amid spat

Iranian state television is reporting that the Islamic Republic has suspended all minor hajj trips to Saudi Arabia amid growing diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

The report Monday said Iran's Culture Ministry made the decision over alleged abuse suffered by two male Iranian pilgrims traveling through Saudi's Jeddah airport in March. The alleged abuse, the details of which authorities have not publicly discussed, has sparked unauthorized protests at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran.

Some 500,000 Iranians visit Saudi Arabia each year for the minor hajj, which involves pilgrims visiting Mecca and Medina, two of Islam's holiest sites.

Tensions between Shiite power Iran and the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been strained amid Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen targeting Shiite rebels known as Houthis there.