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Saudi rulers refuse responsibility for Mina tragedy: Iran

6 September 2016 21:21

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The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman dismisses the recent anti-Iran allegations by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, saying the kingdom’s rulers are evading liability for a deadly crush during last year’s Hajj pilgrimage in the country.

“The Saudi crown prince, who places such emphasis on the importance of ensuring the security of the Hajj [pilgrims], must remember his government’s failure to guarantee security during last year’s Hajj [rituals] and stand accountable to the bereaved nations of the painful Mina incident,” Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday.

He rejected “hackneyed” claims by the Saudi crown prince and said the rulers in Riyadh are playing a blame game.

Qassemi added that Saudi leaders are still leveling baseless allegations by claiming that Iran seeks to politicize Hajj in a bid to shirk their heavy responsibility one year after the Mina incident.

The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that Saudi rulers who claim to be safeguarding the teachings of Islam must put more effort into prosecuting the culprits behind the tragedy and those who prevented the formation of a fact-finding international committee on the disaster.

He lamented the Saudi crown prince’s unwise remarks, saying that Saudi rulers lacked competence and efficiency for holding the Hajj rituals and were responsible for the occurrence of this disaster.

Not only have the Saudi rulers refused to express regret over the death of thousands of pilgrims, but they are also directly and indirectly sacrificing the Muslim nations in the region to their deceptive political ploys, Qassemi said.

In statement released through the Saudi Arabia’s state news agency, SPA, on Tuesday, the Saudi crown prince accused Iran of endangering the security of all Hajj pilgrims.

Bin Nayef also accused Iran of trying to politicize Hajj by using it as an opportunity to violate the teachings of Islam and disturb the security of pilgrims.

The tragic Mina incident took place when two large masses of pilgrims converged at a crossroads during the symbolic ceremony of the stoning of Satan in Jamarat.


A Muslim pilgrim walks through dead bodies at the site of a crush in Mina, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, September 24, 2015.©AP

 

Iran has cancelled the participation of its pilgrims in this year’s Hajj rituals in September due to Saudi Arabia’s creation of obstacles in the way of Iranians seeking to perform the ritual.

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