Iran diplomat urges consular access to bodies of Mina victims

A senior Iranian diplomat urges Saudi Arabia to fulfill its responsibility and seriously cooperate with Iran to identify those who are still missing following the recent deadly incident during the Hajj rituals in Mina, outside the holy city of Mecca.

Iran expects Saudi officials to “heed their responsibility” and cooperate with the country seriously, firmly and without wasting time to identify and determine the fate of all missing Iranians in the Mina incident, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a telephone conversation with Saudi charge d’affaires to Tehran on Monday.

Despite Saudi officials’ earlier promises of cooperation, Riyadh falls short of adopting adequate measures to determine the fate of the missing pilgrims, he added.

Amir-Abdollahian urged Saudi authorities to immediately allow Iran’s consular officials access to the bodies of the Iranian pilgrims killed in the Mina stampede.

He reaffirmed Iranian Hajj officials’ readiness to immediately help and cooperate with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj over the tragedy.

“We will seriously follow up on the issue until clarification of the status of the last person on the list of the missing and are ready to render any help [to Saudi Arabia] to accelerate this issue,” the Iranian diplomat said.
The Saudi diplomat, who has been summoned to Iran’s Foreign Ministry three times since the Friday Mina stampede, said he would immediately inform his country’s senior officials of the issue.

On September 24, a fatal crush took place in Mina as two large crowds of pilgrims were on their way to participate in the symbolic stoning of Satan, a Hajj ritual.

Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has put the death toll from the incident at nearly 770.

However, the fatality figure released by Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization stands at around 2,000. According to the latest announcement by the organization, the death toll of the Iranian pilgrims also stands at 169. Some 46 Iranians have also been hospitalized, while 298 others are still missing.

By Press TV