Iranian diplomat killed in Hajj tragedy to be laid to rest today

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The funeral procession of Iran’s former ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, who lost his life in a September crush of Hajj pilgrims in Mina, Saudi Arabia, is planned to be held here in Tehran on Friday.

After a special ceremony, the body of the deceased will be transferred from Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport to Grand Prayer Grounds (Mosalla) in the Iranian capital to hold the funeral procession.

In a message earlier on Thursday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent his deep condolences to the family of the former diplomat.

He said the “long process” of pursuing the fate of Mr. Roknabadi, who had gone missing in the Mina catastrophe, is nearing completion after the initial identification of his body.

Zarif also underscored that Iran’s administration continues to make serious efforts to shed light on the fate of each and every one of the missing Iranian pilgrims in Mina and to follow up the issue legally and politically.

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.

By Tasnim News Agency