Saudi Arabia's top religious power said Iran's pioneers were not Muslims, drawing a reprimand from Tehran in a curiously cruel trade between the local opponents over the running of the yearly haj journey.
The war of words on the eve of the mass journey will extend a long-running fracture between the Sunni kingdom and the Shi'ite progressive force. They back restricting sides in Syria's polite war and a rundown of different clashes over the Middle EastTensions between them have been ascending since Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in January taking after the raging of its international safe haven in Tehran, itself a reaction to the Saudi execution of a nonconformist Shi'ite priest.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a message distributed on Monday, scrutinized Saudi Arabia over how it pursues the haj a smash a year ago killed several pioneers. He said Saudi powers had "killed" some of them, portraying Saudi rulers as atheist and skeptical.
Reacting to an inquiry by Saudi daily paper Makkah, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheik Abdulaziz al-Sheik said he was not shocked at Khamenei's remarks.
"We need to comprehend that they are not Muslims. … Their primary adversaries are the supporters of Sunnah (Sunnis)," al-Sheik was cited as saying in comments republished by the Arab News.
He portrayed Iranian pioneers as children of "magus", a reference to Zoroastrianism, the prevailing faith in Persia until the Muslim Arab intrusion of the district that is currently Iran 13 centuries back.
This year travelers from Iran will be not able go to the haj, which authoritatively begins on Sept. 11, after talks between the two countries on courses of action separated in May.
Khamenei met groups of Iranians killed in a year ago's calamity on Wednesday and required a reality discovering board to explore the reason for the pound.
"The shrewd family tree of the Saudi administration does not have the ability to deal with the blessed holy places," Khamenei said.
Al-Sheik's comments drew an astringent answer from Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said they were confirmation of dogmatism among Saudi pioneers.