Analyst: Saudis Only Concerned about Their Coffers Not Lives of Pilgrims
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Croatian political analyst blasted Saudi Arabia for failing to protect the lives of thousands of pilgrims killed in the Mina tragedy during this year’s annual pilgrimage, stressing that Saudi authorities only care about their “over-flowing” coffers not lives of the Hajj pilgrims.
“They care about their overflowing coffers, not about the pilgrims,” Navid Nasr, from Zagreb, told the Tasnim New Agency in an exclusive interview.
“Vilification and demonization of Iran, Iranians and Shiite is the bread and butter of this regime -- politically, ideologically and spiritually, the entire Wahhabi enterprise rests on those pillars. Never expect anything remotely resembling kindness, decency or humanity from the Najdis,” he added.
Navid Nasr is a respected political analyst, writer and radio host. Since 2007, Nasr coverage of various domestic and global conflicts, including Syria, Ukraine, Egypt and Libya, has served as a reliable resource for over 5,000 members of his private Facebook page as well as listeners to his radio show, Bullet Points with Navid Nasr, on "Voices of the 99 Percent Radio." Navid also offers his critical analysis on international news programs such as Al-Etejah TV (Lebanon) and PressTV (Iran).
The following is the full text of the interview.
Q: During the past days, many countries and Islamic figures and organizations have criticized Saudi Arabia for its incompetency and imprudence in organizing the big event as this is not the first time such a tragedy has happened. How do you think such a great annual event should be managed then? Do not you think that there should be a council of several Muslim countries instead of only Saudi Arabia because Mecca is not only the heritage of Saudi Arabia but also of the entire Muslim world?
A: Should there be? Absolutely? *Will* there be is another matter entirely. The Hajj is a huge profit-making enterprise for the Al-Saud and they will not willingly relinquish any part of it for that reason alone.
Q: Do you believe that Saudi Arabia is no longer able to manage and provide safety and security for a crowd of two million Muslim pilgrims in an event that the circumstances are well-known beforehand?
A: This has been the case for decades now. Again, they care about their overflowing coffers, not about the pilgrims.
Q: According to reports, the caretaking staff appointed by the Saudi government to be in charge of this year’s Hajj are not properly trained and lack essential skills to run the big event. Do not you think that this failure is mainly because the Saudi government is using its experienced and well-trained forces in wars with its neighboring countries?
A: I don't know if there's a direct correlation between incidents like this and the war on Yemen or the proxy war against Iraq and Syria being waged by the Aal as-Saud. And I would hesitate to refer to any branch of the Saudi military as "experienced and well-trained forces". Their only experience lies in killing and brutalizing unarmed protesters in Bahrain and Qatif, running to the Americans in tears at the merest whiff of a threat of invasion from Saddam, bombing the infrastructure of Yemen from high in the air and getting their heads handed (albeit not literally, the way they themselves do) by Houthi fighters in actual on-the ground battles, time after time, year after year.
All their "experienced and well-trained forces" have already run off and joined ISIL, AQAP and Jabhat al-Nusra.
Q: According to reports, the Saudi regime is hampering the transfer of bodies of Iranian pilgrims killed in the crush. What is your take on this?
A: Vilification and demonization of Iran, Iranians and Shiite is the bread and butter of this regime -- politically, ideologically and spiritually, the entire Wahhabi enterprise rests on those pillars. Never expect anything remotely resembling kindness, decency or humanity from the Najdis.