Hajj official: Mina tragedy main topic of current talks with Saudi Arabia

IRNA – Senior Hajj official on Friday said talks with Saudi officials have not been finalized yet and the two sides are still discussing some remaining issues mostly the iisue of Iranian martyrs in Mina stampede tragedy in 2015.

Negotiations on remaining issues are underway and results will be made public on due time, Caretaker of Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Hamid Mohammadi said.

He added that the Mina Tragedy is one of the main concerns of Iran and it is seriously being followed up by the Iranian team in their ongoing talks with Saudi officials.

About 500 Iranian pilgrims were killed during a stampede in 2015 Hajj annual congregation when, according to reports, two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, on their way to performing the ‘Stoning of the Devil’ ritual at Jamarat.

Since then Iran has repeatedly called for restoration of the rights of the Iranian Hajj victims and creating a safe situation for Hajj pilgrims by the Saudi officials.

Iranian pilgrims could not perform their great religious duty in 2016 due to sabotage of the Saudi officials who not only did not apologize for their mismanagement of Hajj in 2015, but also failed to meet expectations of the Iranian side for resumption of sending the Iranian pilgrims for Hajj rituals.

Iran has set certain conditions for sending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. The conditions included ensuring the pilgrims’ security, paying the blood money to the families of those who were killed in 2015 Hajj tragedy and preserving dignity of the Iranian pilgrims while they are in Saudi Arabia.

An Iranian delegation headed by Mohammadi arrived in Riyadh on February 22 upon the invitation of the Saudi officials to discuss resumption of sending Iranian Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

Various rounds of talks have been held between the two sides Hajj officials to remove the obstacle in the way of performing Hajj rituals in a safe atmosphere.