Saudis Should Accept Responsibility, Apologize for Hajj Disaster: Iran

Saudis Should Accept Responsibility, Apologize for Hajj Disaster: Iran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman urged the Saudi government to accept full responsibility for a last week’s crush of people in Mina that killed thousands of Hajj pilgrims, including hundreds of Iranians, saying Riyadh owes the Islamic countries an apology.

Marziyeh Afkham on Tuesday once again blamed the tragic incident on Saudi Arabia’s "mismanagement and incompetence," urging the Kingdom to stop shirking responsibility and shifting the blame onto others.

She said Riyadh’s obstinacy, deflecting the blame for Mina deaths and shirking responsibility for the disaster will further “taint the image of Saudi Arabia in the world.”

The Thursday crush of pilgrims in Mina, near the Saudi city of Mecca, has killed more than 4,000 people during religious rituals, marking the worst ever Hajj disaster.

So far, around 240 Iranian pilgrims have been pronounced dead in the incident. Some  other Iranians are still unaccounted for.

Elsewhere in her comments, Afkham slammed Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir’s recent comments about development in Syria and Yemen as “unconstructive and irrelevant”, stressing that “military interference” in Syria and Yemen have just escalated extremism and instability across the region.

“By adopting belligerent policies, Saudi Arabia has unfortunately turned into the main source of spread of extremism and bellicosity,” she deplored.

The spokeswoman also called for the international community’s serious action to prevent Saudis from continuing their aggressive policies and killing of civilians.

Saudi Arabia has been involved in a military campaign against Yemen since March 26.

Leading a military coalition, Riyadh has been launching deadly air strikes against Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to the fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

On Monday, two airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition targeting the Houthis struck a wedding party, killing 28 people and wounding dozens.

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