Thursday, 16 January, 2020

A year after Hajj tragedy: Iranians are still mourner

Although one year has passed since at least 460 Iranian pilgrims lost their lives in Mina stampede in Saudi Arabia, Iranians are still mourning for the death of their relatives.

In the meantime, Iranian authorities say that they will take legal actions against the Saudi government to fulfill the rights of the victims of Mina stampede.

During that ritual in Mina last year a stampede killed roughly 2,300 people who were on their way to throw their stones at the Jamarat Bridge.

Saudi Arabia issued a death toll of 769 but figures compiled from foreign officials in more than 30 countries gave a tally almost three times higher. Iran had the highest confirmed death toll among foreign nationalities in the tragedy.

Saudi authorities announced an investigation into the tragedy but no results have ever been released, although a number of safety measures have been taken.

Despite the safety and security measures which Saudi Arabia says it has taken, Iran has angrily questioned the kingdom’s custodianship of Islam’s holiest places.

In May, Iran canceled its participation in this year’s holy pilgrimage to Mecca, blaming Saudi Arabia for the cancellation.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei published an extensive article Tuesday accusing Saudi Arabia of the “murder” of pilgrims in last year’s hajj.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also released a statement on Sep.11 ahead of the first anniversary of Mina stampede, saying that Iran will take legal actions against the Saudi government to fulfill the rights of the victims of Mina stampede.

‘Iran’s Foreign Ministry will not give up pursuing the rights of the victims of the deadly crush’, Zarif added.

He further said that the Mina issue will impact future ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iran and Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations in January after Saudis executed a prominent Shiite cleric and angry Iranian crowds overran Saudi diplomatic missions.

The Mina tragedy came after, a massive construction crane collapsed onto the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing more than 100 people, including a number of Iranians.

More than 3 million pilgrims from around the world including the neighboring Persian Gulf states arrive in Saudi Arabia every year to perform Haj - the annual ritual to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim, his dignified wife Hager and their noble son Prophet Ismael.


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