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February 26, 1988

Iran accused Saudi Arabia of obstructing arrangements to send Iranians on the annual religious pilgrimage to Mecca and warned of a harsh reaction. Tehran Radio quoted Prime Minister Hussein Moussavi as saying that Riyadh had stopped a senior Iranian official from going to Saudi Arabia to make preparations for the July pilgrimage. He said that barring Muslims from the pilgrimage was an affront to Islam and that Iran and other Muslim nations "will undoubtedly deal harshly with such insolence." Last July, 402 people were killed, including 275 Iranians, in clashes between Saudi security forces and Iranian militants and pilgrims demonstrating in Mecca.

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