TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani slammed Saudi authorities for their dishonesty regarding the death toll from a recent crush of people in Mina, near Mecca, saying that they tried to hide the gravity of the disaster.
Speaking in an open session of the parliament on Monday, Larijani pointed to the recent deadly crush in Mina, which led to the deaths of over 7,500 Hajj pilgrims, saying the Saudis were not honest about the death toll and until a few days ago, they claimed that only 750 people lost their lives in the tragedy.
He further emphasized that foreign pressures forced the Saudi government to announce that the crush left 7500 killed.
“Why did you hide (the magnitude of the incident)?” he asked Saudi authorities, referring to the death toll earlier announced by the Iranian officials.
Such behavior and dishonesty indicate that the Saudi regime has been plagued by political turmoil, he said.
Iranian officials had earlier announced that at least 7,500 pilgrims were killed in the crush in Mina on September 24 when performing religious rites.
Iranian Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization has put the final number of Iranian pilgrims killed in the disaster at 464.
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.
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.