Iranians are no longer allowed to make the pilgrimage to Mecca.
In a further escalation in tensions with Saudi Arabia, the Iranian government today banned its citizens from making the annual trip to Islam’s holiest city, a journey required at least once in a lifetime for all Muslims financially and physically capable of doing so.
The ban comes near the end of a tense week between the two rivals after Saudi Arabia, a predominantly Sunni country, executed a prominent Shiite cleric on Saturday. (Iran is the largest of the few predominantly Shiite countries in the world.) In the subsequent days, the two countries severed diplomatic relations, Iranian protestors attacked and set fire to