Health minister: ‘Transferring some dead bodies might not be possible’

TEHRAN, Oct. 12 (MNA) – Iran’s Health Minister has said it might not be possible to transfer some dead bodies of Mina incident victims to Iran encouraging their families to agree with their burial in Saudi Arabia.

During his trip to the city of Qom, Hassan Hashemi met Ayatollah Nouri Hamadani on Sunday stating that, “Eid al-Adha marks the most important holidays in Saudi Arabia due to which delivery of dead bodies as well as regular communication with Saudi officials to investigate the issues of pilgrims were impossible ; however, following the order of the Leader we pursued the matter by holding meetings between Iranian and Saudi officials.”

Stressing that Health and Political issues are separate entities, he asserted that, “Saudi officials were planning to bury the dead bodies of the victims on the very day that the incident took place yet Iran insisted on the approval of their families.”

Expressing uncertainty about the burial of the Iranian victims in Saudi Arabia, Hashemi underlined that, “after the talks between the two countries, we can be confident that no Iranian pilgrim will be buried there.”

Iran’s Health Minister further referred to frequent telephone calls with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health and added that, “it might not be feasible to transfer all dead bodies to Iran and it would be better to persuade the families of some victims for burying the bodies in Mecca.”

Emphasizing that the Iranian clerics’ guidelines have been helpful in managing Hajj ceremony, he noted that, “pilgrims are face with many difficulties during Hajj ceremony due to warm weather, being old, physical weakness and lack of cooperation on the part of Saudis; therefore, Iranian clerics can help to facilitate the process by issuing relevant orders.”

“If Saudis continue to manage Hajj congregation like this, we will observe similar incidents in the following years,” said Hashemi expressing hope that the government and clerics will review the management of Hajj ceremony to make the situation easier for the pilgrims.

By Mehr News Agency