Saudis bar Iran’s health minister from visiting Mina victims

Tehran, Sept 26, IRNA – Saudi Arabia barred a proposed visit by Iran’s Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh to the Iranian pilgrims wounded in Mina tragic stampede, it was reported on Saturday.
According to the Health Ministry’s spokesperson Iraj Harirchi, the Saudi officials also refused to provide necessary facilities for the dispatch of an Iranian team to help aid those pilgrims who were injured in the incident.

He said the Iranian health ministry announced readiness to dispatch a medical team to Saudi Arabia immediately after the catastrophic incident to assist the Iranian pilgrims there but were denied access by the Saudi officials.

He went on to note that the Iranian medical teams who have been stationed in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the Hajj time, are presently working in harsh conditions to render aid to the wounded Iranian pilgrims in Saudi hospitals.

He said about 91 Iranian pilgrims who have been hospitalized are generally in good conditions.

The main concern now, the official noted, is the great number of the Iranian pilgrims who have gone missing and there are still no information available about their destinies.

131 Iranian pilgrims have thus far been declared dead in Thursday Mina disaster, 85 of them are injured in Saudi hospitals and Iranian healthcare centers in Mecca, and 365 of them are sorrowfully still missing.

The relatives of the most disastrous fatal even in the history of Hajj pilgrimage are still shocked with hearts filled with deep sorrow both in Saudi Arabia in Iranian pilgrims’ camps and back home in Iran, awaiting justice to be observed for the creators of this catastrophe for the Islamic world.

Many world experts, political and religious officials believe mismanagement was the real cause for the various incidents in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, including the fall of a huge crane, a fire disaster in a hotel, a fire which spread in the camp of the Egyptian pilgrims in Mina desert, and above all, Mina stampede.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has ordered a task force to be set up to follow up the incident.