Iran Will Never Give Up Mina Tagedy Follow-up: Official

An Iranian official says the Islamic Republic will not give up pursuing the rights of the victims of a deadly crush during last year’s Hajj rituals in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, until justice is achieved.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is firmly pursuing and redoubling efforts to restore the rights of the families of the Mina disaster victims,” Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi said on Saturday.

He added that Iran would follow up on the demands of the victims’ families through legal channels until the efforts pay off.

He said as Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has emphasized the Mina catastrophe should never sink into oblivion.

The Iranian official said the Mina crush occurred due to the mismanagement, incompetence and ineptitude of Al Saud in handling the Hajj rituals and emphasized that the tragedy will remain etched in the minds of Iranians forever.

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.

According to a count by the Associated Press, more than 2,400 people, including at least 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives in the incident on September 24, 2015. Iran had the highest confirmed death toll among foreign nationalities in the Mina stampede. Saudi Arabia claims that nearly 770 people had been killed in the incident.

Iran has cancelled the participation of its pilgrims in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, which started on Saturday, due to Saudi Arabia’s creation of obstacles in the way of Iranians seeking to perform the rituals.

‘Mina Tragedy Stain to Live with Al Saud Forever’

Meanwhile, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said on Saturday that the Mina crush was “a stain on Al Saud that will never be removed.”

He added that many pilgrims lost their lives in the disaster due to the Saudi officials’ incompetence and negligence in providing the injured with medical and relief aid.

He emphasized that the Saudi government has failed to remain committed to the most basic human and legal principles and make up for the sufferings of the families of the victims.

The SNSC secretary said Iran would adopt all necessary measures to restore the rights of the Mina crush victims and ensure that the culprits behind the incident are brought to justice.