Iran’s Missing Ex-Envoy Seen Alive: MP
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The former Iranian ambassador to Lebanon who went missing after the deadly crush of people in Mina, Saudi Arabia, has been seen alive in the Arab country, a senior Iranian MP said, holding Riyadh accountable for the ex-diplomat’s fate.
Speaking on Monday, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi pointed to an extraordinary meeting of the commission, saying that according to a report raised in the meeting, during the deadly incident in Mina, near Mecca, eye witnesses saw Ghazanfar Roknabadi, the missing diplomat, alive in a Saudi ambulance being taken to hospital.
Since then, though, there has been no reliable information about his fate, Boroujerdi stated.
He further rejected the claim that Roknabadi was killed in the Hajj tragedy, saying that as long as the Saudi government has not proved the diplomat’s death, his possible abduction can be pursued by Iran seriously.
“The Saudi government is held accountable for all missing Iranians,” the parliamentarian said, adding that, given Roknabadi’s special political status, Riyadh should be particularly accountable to the Islamic Republic in this case.
Roknabadi is still unaccounted for after the September 24 crush in Mina killed about 7500 Hajj pilgrims, including 464 Iranians, when performing religious rites.
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.
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.