Iran calls for Saudi transparency over Mina tragedy

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iran
Friday, 02 October 2015

Iran has demanded transparency from Saudi Arabia with regards to the recent deadly crush in Mina near the Saudi city of Mecca, which claimed the lives of hundreds of pilgrims, including many Iranians.

“The Islamic Republic is not after politicizing the Mina disaster; rather, it calls for the acceptance of responsibility and full transparency with respect to the disaster,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said.

He made the comments at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in New York on Thursday, in response to remarks by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir who had, at the session, criticized what he called the politicization of the disaster.

The crush occurred in Mina on September 24 after two large masses of pilgrims fused together.

Riyadh says 769 people were killed in the crush, while officials with Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say some 4,700 people lost their lives in the tragedy.

Tragedy could have been prevented’

In his Thursday remarks, Araqchi said that 456 of those killed were Iranians, adding that, eight days after the incident, close to 200 Iranian pilgrims are still missing and are feared dead.

The families of the missing have not yet received any information on their fate, the Iranian official said.

Tehran asks Riyadh to shoulder responsibility, meet its obligations and take the necessary measures to avoid the reoccurrence of such incidents in the future, stressed Araqchi, adding that the disaster could have been prevented.

In reaction to remarks by the Iranian official, the Saudi foreign minister said at the meeting that Saudi Arabia was pursuing transparency and an investigation into the case, claiming that the culprits of the incident would surely be punished.

“We have learned our lessons from the incident and will take all the necessary measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such disasters in the future,” IRNA quoted the Saudi official as saying.

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