Iranian Speaker Calls Saudi Gov’t ‘Real Culprit’ of Mina Tragedy

Iranian Speaker Calls Saudi Gov’t ‘Real Culprit’ of Mina Tragedy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani slammed Riyadh for its failure to ensure the safety of Hajj pilgrims, saying that the Saudi government is to blame for a recent crush in Mina near Mecca, which led to the deaths of about 2,000 pilgrims, including at least 154 Iranians.

Speaking at an open session of the parliament on Sunday, Larijani expressed his condolences to the Iranian nation over the tragedy in Mina, Saudi Arabia, saying that the incident was tragic.   

He pointed to a closed-door session of the parliament earlier this morning, which was attended by Iran's Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Ali Jannati and Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian, saying that in the meeting, explanations were given over the crush and the measures taken in various fields in the aftermath of the incident.  

“The reports showed that the Saudi government is the main culprit in the incident,” he said, adding that the Saudis’ negligence and mismanagement led to the tragic event.

About 2000 pilgrims were killed in a Thursday crush in Mina when performing religious rites. With the death toll rising, many pilgrims are still unaccounted for in the incident that marked the worst Hajj disaster in 25 years.

So far, 154 Iranian pilgrims have been pronounced dead and more than a hundred others are confirmed to have been wounded in the tragic event.

The incident came nearly two weeks after tens of Hajj pilgrims were killed in another tragic incident in Mecca.

On September 11, a massive construction crane crashed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque in stormy weather, killing at least 107 people, including 11 Iranians, and injuring 201 others.

Hajj, the world’s largest annual gathering of people, has already witnessed numerous deadly crushes, fires and riots in the past.

Saudi authorities have come under fire for their inability to ensure the safety of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who converge on Mecca every year.

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