Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Saudi Arabian charge d’affaires in Tehran on Sat. to protest over death of Hajj pilgrims in Mina.
The Saturday’s summoning makes it the third time in the past three days that Saudi Arabian charge d’affaires was called in to hear Iran’s remarks on expediting the process of pursuing the Mina tragedy and the condition of Iranian Hajj pilgrims.
Some 2,000 Hajj pilgrims, including at least 136 Iranians, reportedly lost their lives in a stampede that took place near the holy city of Mecca on Thursday, with hundreds of others injured or missing.
The tragedy reportedly happened when Saudi forces blocked a passage to cordon off an area for a convoy of Saudi prince and his entourage to pass by and guided a large crowd of pilgrims to another passage where huge crowds of pilgrims were returning and encountering of the two sides led to a deadly stampede.
Following the incident, the Saudi envoy was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday and Friday and received Tehran’s official protest at Saudi Arabia’s mismanagement and lack of attention leading to the fatal incident.
Earlier on Thursday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian criticized Saudi authorities for their failure to prevent the incident; “we absolutely would not remain indifferent to Saudis irresponsible conduct and will summon their chargé d’affaires to voice our strongest protests over sheer irresponsibility and mismanagement of affairs in Mina incident,” said Amir-Abdollahian.
With some 344 Iranian pilgrims still missing, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday urged Saudi authorities to speed up the treatment of the injured and allow Iranian teams access into the hospitals to identify the missing pilgrims.