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Billboards bearing Khamenei's words on Hajj dispute seen in Baghdad

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hit back at Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in a growing war of words over the upcoming pilgrimage
Billboards were erected across Baghdad on Wednesday emblazoned with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's recent vitriolic quotes against Saudi Arabia (AFP)

Billboards were erected across Iraqi capital Baghdad on Wednesday emblazoned with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's recent vitriolic quotes against Saudi Arabia.

Khamenei's furious statements on Tuesday were sparked by a war of words over the coming Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. Over 460 Iranians were killed in a deadly stampede that killed 2,300 foreign pilgrims in total. This year, for the first time in three decades, Iran will not send pilgrims to Mecca after accusing the Saudi authorities of "murdering" injured pilgrims during the stampede. 

Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, the top cleric of Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday said that the rulers of Iran were "not Muslims," and compared them to pre-Islamic fire-worshippers. 

Translation: In the streets of Baghdad 

“The world of Islam, including Muslim governments and peoples, must familiarise themselves with the Saudi rulers and correctly understand their blasphemous, faithless and materialistic nature,” Iran's Khamenei hit back in a statement published on his website on Tuesday.

“Because of these rulers’ oppressive behaviour towards God’s guests, the world of Islam must fundamentally reconsider the management of the two holy places and the issue of Hajj,” he continued.

Translation: “Ali #Khamenei quotes in #Baghdad. This is what the streets of Baghdad have become. The Americans protect them now (pro-Iran forces in Iraq) and they were the ones who put them in power.. #We_are_all_from_clay,” photo accuses Saudi of being in hock to Zionists and Americans.

"Saudi rulers... are disgraced and misguided people who think their survival on the throne of oppression is dependent on defending the arrogant powers of the world, on alliances with Zionism and the US and on fulfilling their demands," he said, adding that the Saudi family were “small and puny Satans who tremble for fear of jeopardising the interests of the Great Satan [United States].”

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