TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Sunday that he hopes the bodies of the Iranian pilgrims killed in a recent crush during the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia will be returned home in the coming days.
Speaking in a closed-door session of the parliament this morning, Amir Abdollahian briefed the Iranian lawmakers on the latest developments in Saudi Arabia after the crush in Mina near Mecca and the measures taken by the Iranian diplomatic apparatus over the tragedy.
He further blamed the Saudi authorities for the incident and called on Riyadh to responsibly address the issue and accept the tragic event’s consequences.
The Iranian diplomat also expressed the hope that the operation to return the bodies of the Iranian nationals killed in Mina will be conducted in the coming days.
So far, 154 Iranian pilgrims have been pronounced dead and more than a hundred others are confirmed to have been wounded in the tragic event.
Over 300 Iranian nationals who went missing after the tragedy are still unaccounted for.
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.
Hajj, the world’s largest annual gathering of people, has already witnessed numerous deadly crushes, fires and riots in the past.
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.