Saudi Authorities under Suspicion of Involvement in Mina Tragedy: Iran’s Shamkhani

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani

Saudi Arabia’s refusal to apologize for the deaths of thousands of pilgrims in a deadly crush of people in last year’s Hajj or its failure to identify those at fault raises doubts about involvement of government officials in the incident, top Iranian official Ali Shamkhani said.

“The Saudi government’s conduct, its refusal to apologize to the bereaved families (of Mina victims) and its ignorance about identifying and introducing those at fault in the catastrophe raise doubts about the involvement of elements from the Saudi government in the incident,” Shamkhani told reporters in Tehran on Friday.

His comments came a year after the deadly crush of people during the last year’s Hajj rituals in Mina, near the Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca, which claimed the lives of over 4,700 pilgrims, including 465 Iranians.

Shamkhani further took a swipe at the West for unwavering supports for the Al Saud’s crimes and adopting double-standards in dealing with the humanitarian catastrophes, saying such Western approach has encouraged the “reactionary Saudi regime” to keep committing atrocities.

Earlier this month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei blamed the Saudi-affiliated propaganda organizations for their attempts to spread the notion that the Mina tragedy signifies friction between Shiite and Sunni Muslims or between Arabs and non-Arabs.

Supporters of the Saudi rulers are trying to spread such an “outright lie” in a propaganda campaign, while “most of the 7,000 Mina martyrs, including a large number of Iranian martyrs, are Sunnis,” the Leader revealed.