Saudi must be stripped of Hajj management: Iran cleric
A senior Iranian cleric has called for the dispossession of Saudi Arabia of the privilege of running the annual Hajj pilgrimage following the recent tragic crush in Mina and Riyadh’s poor handling of its aftermath.
“The Al Saud must be stripped of the management of the Hajj,” Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani said on Sunday on the sidelines of a funeral procession in the capital, Tehran, for some of the victims of the September 24 deadly stampede.
“Muslim countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) must be mobilized and handle the management of the Hajj from next year because Saudi Arabia has shown its incompetence in managing such important rituals,” he said.
The senior cleric also said the Islamic Republic should follow up on the issue of Hajj management thoroughly.
‘Trial for culprits’
Meanwhile, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani urged the Saudi government to accept its responsibility in the incident and take steps toward prosecuting those responsible for the disaster.
Shamkhani censured Saudi officials for their “mismanagement and incompetence” in organizing the Hajj rituals.
He further noted that Saudi Arabia’s poor management of the Hajj as well as crimes committed by Takfiri terrorists are presenting an “unreal and improper image of Islam” to the world.
Iranian on Sunday held mourning ceremonies in the capital, Tehran, and other cities for the victims of the tragic human crush of September 24 in Mina.
The crush took place after two large masses of pilgrims collided 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 crush, but officials with Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people, including over 460 Iranians, lost their lives in the tragedy.