Ali Jannati

80% of missing Iranian pilgrims in Mina probably dead: Minister

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – While due to Riyadh’s mishandling of situation after a Thursday’s crush of Hajj pilgrims the fate of hundreds of the missing remains unknown, Iran’s culture minister said some 80 percent of the country’s nationals who are still unaccounted for have probably died in the incident.

“More than 300 Iranian pilgrims remain unaccounted for and it is likely that 70 or 80 percent of them are among the dead,” Ali Jannati said on Sunday.

Nearly 2,000 pilgrims were killed in the Thursday crush in Mina, near Mecca, when performing the annual Hajj rituals.

With the death toll rising, many pilgrims are still missing in the incident that marked the worst ever Hajj disaster.

So far, 154 Iranians have been pronounced dead and more than a hundred others are confirmed to have been wounded in the tragic event.

Elsewhere in his comments, Mr. Jannati deplored the Riyadh government for its lack of cooperation with the Iranian officials.

He said Iran has formed a delegation to travel to the Arab country and take care of the conditions of Iranian pilgrims, but the Saudi government has not still granted visas to members of the delegation.

The Iranian minister also slammed Saudi Arabia’s inability to manage the Hajj pilgrimage, saying such failure appears to be natural for a country that is engaged in wars against Yemen and Syria and keeps supporting the ISIL terrorist group.

By Tasnim News Agency