Iranian leaders are not Muslims, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh said on Wednesday. He was responding to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's remarks, where he accused the Saudi authorities of "murdering" their Hajj pilgrims who died in a stampede in 2015. Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said, "We have to understand that they are not Muslims. ... Their main enemies are the followers of Sunnah [Sunnis],"

On Wednesday, Khamenei met families of Iranians killed in the stampede, and called for a probe panel to investigate the incident. Holding Saudi leaders responsible for the stampede, Khamenei said, "This incident proves once again that this cursed, evil family does not deserve to manage the holy sites." The tension between the two countries regarding the pilgrimage is one of the many contentious issues among them, such as the Syrian war, where the Sunni kingdom ()Saudi Arabia) and the Shi'ite nation (Iran) are supporting opposing sides.

After the storming of its embassy in Tehran in January, Saudi Arabia cut its ties with Iran. The countries failed to reach consensus in May regarding arrangements during the pilgrimage. As a result, Iranians will not be able to attend the annual pilgrimage that starts from September 11, reported Reuters.