Leader of Islamic Revolution slams silence of other states on 2016 Hajj tragedy

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iran
Wednesday, 07 September 2016

The Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Islamic Republic has been the only critical voice against the deaths of pilgrims during last year’s Hajj rituals in Saudi Arabia, criticizing human rights organizations and other countries for choosing to remain silent on the issue.

“Such silence is a scourge plaguing Muslim nations. This is a catastrophe for the Islamic world,” said Ayatollah Khamenei in a Wednesday meeting with the families of the Iranian pilgrims who lost their lives in a human crush during last year’s Hajj rituals near Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The Leader further stated that Saudi rulers were so “shameless” that they even refused to offer an apology to the Muslim countries who lost their nationals in the tragedy.

At least 465 Iranian pilgrims lost their lives during the stampede, which occurred after two large masses of pilgrims converged at a crossroads in Mina near Mecca during Hajj rituals on September 24, 2015

Riyadh has refused to update the death toll of 770 it released days after the incident.

However, Iran, which had the greatest number of deaths among foreign nationals, has put the death toll at about 4,700.

Just days before the Mina tragedy, a massive construction crane collapsed onto the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing more than 100 people, including a number of Iranians, and leaving over 200 others wounded.

In a message to Hajj pilgrims on Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei said Saudi rulers were to blame for the deaths of hundreds of pilgrims in both incidents during last year’s rituals.

“However, instead of offering apology and expressing regret and prosecuting those directly behind this horrible incident, the Saudi rulers even refused to set up an international Islamic fact-finding mission in ultimate shamelessness and impudence,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

Iran has canceled the participation of its pilgrims in this year’s Hajj rituals because of Saudi Arabia’s refusal to guarantee the safety of pilgrims.

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