The political ramifications of the deadly stampede in Mecca that killed more than 700 people on the first day of the Islamic holiday of Eid will reach the shores of New York this week. Tehran is set to continue its diplomatic attack on Saudi Arabia at the UNs general assembly.
Preparations for this years Hajj were already marred by the crane collapse earlier this month which killed over 100 people and now King Salman is left in a position where almost 1,000 people have died in Mecca this month.
The Saudis have been explicit in their defence of the holy citys facilities. One spokesperson blamed pilgrims from poorer countries for the stampede, adding that an element of fate must be considered.
Regional leaders have also taken a similar stance, despite calls for a safety investigation, which were answered by King Salman who has launched a wide-ranging inquiry following the incident on Thursday.
The events this month alone are unlikely to have a major impact on King Salmans political mandate.
But with pilgrim numbers expected to increase year-on-year, it does raise questions over the future development of Islams holiest city, and whether Riyadh decides to speed up construction to better accomodate people or scale down work.
Meanwhile Tehran has accused Riyadh of negligence and mismanagement. There have also been reports in Iran that the stampede was caused by a bottleneck of pilgrims which formed in order to allow a royal convoy to pass through the area. Although these reports are unconfirmed, it does illustrate the type of attack being launched against the Saudis by Iran.
Nonetheless, the diplomatic attack being launched by Tehran exemplifies the strengthened position of Iran following successful nuclear talks and the relative disarray Saudi Arabia finds itself in this year with falling oil prices, the war in Yemen and continued regional instability.
The events in Mecca may not have a direct impact on Saudi Arabias ruling elite but it has so far brought Riyadh and Tehrans increasing tensions to centre stage after a year of proxy wars in Yemen and Syria.