“Muslims must keep vigilant against Saudi crimes”
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says Muslim countries need to keep vigilant against Saudi Arabia’s crimes, including the recent deadly Mina crush and Riyadh’s military aggression against Yemen.
In a Sunday message to his Lebanese counterpart Samir Moqbel, the Iranian minister said Saudi rulers’ lack of foresight and mismanagement are the reasons behind the tragic stampede in Mina during the Hajj pilgrimage rituals.
“This terrible catastrophe along with inhumane crimes by Saudi rulers against the oppressed and defenseless Yemeni people, which are a reminder of the Zionist regime’s cruel crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, raises the alarm that [such crimes] should be stopped through absolute vigilance and prudence of Muslim countries,” Dehqan said.
The crush took place on September 24 after two large masses of pilgrims fused at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of the holy city of Mecca, on their way to participate in the symbolic stoning of Satan in Jamarat.
Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed in the incident, but officials with Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people, including 464 Iranians, lost their lives in the tragedy.
Dehqan emphasized that the tragic Mina crush was a “test” for Muslim nations to adopt necessary measures and form a fact-finding committee to determine the exact cause of the incident and prevent reoccurrence of such a tragedy in the future.
Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against its southern neighbor Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate — in a bid to undermine the growing popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.
About 6,400 people, including some 500 children, have reportedly lost their lives since March.