Iran’s Roknabadi Still among Missing after Mina Tragedy: Deputy FM
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday that Ghazanfar Roknabadi, the country’s former envoy to Lebanon, is still unaccounted for after he went missing in a September 24 crush of pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during Hajj rituals.
“Mr. Roknabadi, our country’s senior diplomat, is still among the missing, and efforts are seriously underway to determine his fate,” Deputy Foreign Minister for African and Middle Eastern Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian told Tasnim on Tuesday.
He underlined that diplomatic measures will seriously continue until the fate of each and every one of Iranian pilgrims who went missing in the incident is determined.
Amir Abdollahian also made it clear that none of the bodies will be buried in Mecca without the consent of their families.
In separate comments, Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular and Expatriates’ Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said 116 Iranians are still unaccounted for after the tragic crush.
It is not clear whether those 116 missing citizens have died or are kept in custody somewhere in Saudi Arabia, Qashqavi added.
It is not possible to make a comment until the bodies are repatriated, he added.
Roknabadi, who served as Iran’s ambassador to Beirut from 2010 to 2014, went missing at the huge crush of people in Mina, which killed hundreds of Hajj pilgrims on September 24.
According to Iranian officials, over 4,700 pilgrims, including 465 Iranians, died in the crush. The incident marked the worst ever Hajj disaster.