Iran to send team to Gulf rival Saudi Arabia to discuss haj pilgrimage

DUBAI  - Iran plans to send a delegation to Saudi Arabia to discuss new arrangements for the haj pilgrimage to Mecca, Iran's Tasnim news agency said on Wednesday, the first official visit by either side since ties were severed in January.
The pilgrimage was marred last September by a deadly crush that killed hundreds of people, many of them Iranians, which drove up tensions between the two powers.
It comes this year with Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran still locked in a row that has fueled sectarian tensions in the Middle East.
The head of Iran's haj organization, Saeed Ohadi, said Saudi authorities had invited Tehran to send a delegation to Riyadh on April 14 to discuss preparations for haj, which is expected to fall again in September this year.