Iranian staged a peaceful protest in Mecca without incident on Thursday. Ignoring Saudi warnings against political activity, the Iranians chanted for Muslim unity and against the "enemies" of the faith in their camp at Arafat outside of the holy city. "Death to America, death to Israel," thousands of Iranians chanted inside a huge tent on the Arafat plain.
No Saudi security forces were evident as Ayatollah Muhammed Rishari, the representative of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, led the Iranian delegation. "We need to be purified from our wrongdoings in this hajj," he said, according to AFP. "We need all Muslims, Sunni and Shiite, to be unified and focus on important issues: Al-Aqsa (mosque in Jerusalem), the occupation of Palestine, the problems in Iraq, the Afghan occupation, and the fighting between brothers in Yemen. We need be purified from all infidels."
On Thursday, the weather improved after heavy rains marred the first day of the hajj. The rains Wednesday killed 44 people in nearby Jeddah and another four in Mecca, according to the civil defence authority.