Crown Prince Nayef says kingdom ‘ready to face all events’ as pilgrimage begins
Prince Nayef, the new heir to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, warned on Tuesday
the kingdom would use "all means" to ensure a peaceful hajj
pilgrimage amid tumult in other Arab countries and rising tensions with Iran.
of Muslims have started to arrive in the holy city of Mecca to perform the hajj,
one of Islam's five pillars and a duty for all Muslims who are physically able.
to Islam's holiest sites, Saudi Arabia regards itself as the guardian of Islam
and assumes the responsibility of maintaining a peaceful hajj when Muslims from
many countries and sects gather at the same place and time.
are ready to face all events, whatever they are ... our means are peaceful ...
except for those who want to attack, whom we will prevent with all means,"
Nayef told a news conference in Mecca in answer to a question about the
possibility of violent protests. Nayef is also Saudi Arabia's interior minister.
news conference followed a military parade featuring riot police, special
forces and tanks that the kingdom can call upon in the event of trouble hitting
1987 clashes between Iranian pilgrims and Saudi security forces led to the deaths
of hundreds of people.
month the interior ministry accused an unnamed foreign power, widely
interpreted as meaning Iran, of instigating an armed attack by members of the
kingdom's Shi'ite minority on a police station, injuring 11 security officers
and three civilians.
Later in October, the United States accused two
Iranians of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington with the
backing of Tehran. Iran denied the charges
Millions of Muslims have started to arrive in the holy city of Mecca to perform the hajj, one of Islam's five pillars and a duty for all Muslims who are physically able. (Its physically and also financially able. Huge Muslim population who are physically able can't go as they are not able to afford)