TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s lawmakers censured Saudi Arabia for failing to provide security for Hajj pilgrims and said management of the Hajj pilgrimage should be transferred to the Muslim world, which can handle the religious rites “in the safest way”.
In a statement on Sunday, the Iranian MPs pointed to a recent crush in Mina, near Mecca, that led to the deaths of about 2000 Hajj pilgrims, including at least 155 Iranians, saying that the incident turned the Eid al-Adha, a major Muslim festival, into a mourning occasion for the Islamic Ummah (community).
“Today a rightful demand has been raised among Muslims,” the lawmakers stated, adding that the Islamic world is wondering how long its holiest sites, which do not belong to a single country but to the entire Muslim world, should witness such tragic events due to the Saudi government’s poor management of the event.
“Undoubtedly, the high capacity of the Muslim world makes it capable of managing the global Hajj congregation in the safest way,” the Iranian MPs said.
They also called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Saudi Arabia to investigate the causes of the Mina tragedy.
About 2000 pilgrims were killed in the Thursday crush in Mina when performing religious rites. With the death toll rising, many pilgrims are still unaccounted for in the incident that marked the worst Hajj disaster in 25 years.
So far, 155 Iranian pilgrims have been pronounced dead and more than a hundred others are confirmed to have been wounded in the tragic event.
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.