Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization has expressed strong protest against the fingerprinting of Iranian women pilgrims by Saudi airport officials. Iran will give a suitable response to the insulting Saudi move, an official of the organization, Abdollah Nassiri, told IRNA. Police in Saudi Arabia have insulted Iranian female Hajj pilgrims by fingerprinting and even touching them harshly at Jeddah International Airport. It was not the first time that the Saudi police have fingerprinted Iranians entering the country for participating in the Hajj. In August, 2007, Saudi police insulted Iranian Hajj pilgrims by taking mug shots and fingerprinting them at Jeddah International Airport.
They also scanned and have maintained records of Iranian pilgrims’ passports and other documents since the beginning of the year. Nassiri said that Saudi officials had previously vowed to pursue the case. “However, they broke their promise.” According to international law, only those travelers deemed to be criminals or terrorists can be fingerprinted. The Representative of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution for Hajj and Pilgrimage Affairs, Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammadi Reishahri, had earlier stated that such offenses are aimed at weakening unity between Iran and Saudi Arabia.