FM Zarif Vows to Pursue Fate of Missing Iranian Pilgrims in S. Arabia
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reaffirmed the ministry’s resolve to follow up on the fate of Iranian pilgrims who are still missing after a recent deadly crush in Mina, Saudi Arabia.
Speaking in a Sunday ceremony held in Tehran, Zarif paid tribute to the Iranian pilgrims killed in the Mina tragedy, and highlighted the necessity for determining the fate of those still unaccounted for.
Former Iranian ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi is among those who went missing after the deadly crush.
Referring to the missing diplomat, Zarif stressed that the foreign ministry and Roknabadi’s family are waiting for his return, expressing the hope that he would be found as soon as possible.
Identifying the culprits, taking measures to restore the victims’ rights, and planning for appropriate moves to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies in Hajj pilgrimage in the future are on the foreign ministry’s agenda, he added.
The September 24 crush in Mina, which happened when pilgrims from around the world were performing the Hajj rites, killed about 7500 Hajj pilgrims, including 464 Iranians.
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.