On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned of “harsh” measures if the kingdom failed to promptly repatriate the bodies of the Islamic Republic’s dead.
Saudi and Iranian media said Riyadh offered condolences to Tehran Wednesday at a meeting of the health ministers in the Saudi city of Jeddah, according to Reuters. “He was admitted there since he arrived in Mecca at the beginning of the annual pilgrimage“, reads part of the statement.
He said Iran understands the hard task undertaken by the Saudi government and the services it renders during the Haj season and the dedication it shows in carrying them out, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
Over 700 pilgrims lost their lives in a stampede when the pilgrims were going through a ritual known as ‘stoning the devil’.
News agency AFP is now reporting a tally of death tolls from 23 countries, mostly from official sources, and has put the number at more than 940.
Shamkhani said a few Arab governments had broken “the taboo of working with the Zionist regime”, which, he said, was driving “doubts and suspicions” about whether a few of the missing former Iranian officials were kidnapped. Iranian officials allege the total amount of departures is more than 1,000 Pakistan, India, and Indonesia also have indicated death toll could be greater compared to 769 reported by Saudi Arabia.
Around 240 Iranians were previously declared dead after last Thursday’s crush near Mecca, with more than 200 classified as missing.
A Pakistani man receives his family member who returned from Saudi Arabia after the hajj pilgrimage at Karachi airport Pakistan Monday September 28 2015.
“He entered with a normal passport to perform the hajj” and “his identity and that of other missing pilgrims have been provided to Saudi Arabia“, she said.
Saudi Arabia, a leading foe of President Bashar al-Assad, demanded his ally Russian Federation end its raids on Syria, saying the strikes had caused civilian casualties while failing to target the hardline Islamic State militants Moscow says it opposes.
Reacting to Iran’s bitter criticism of hundreds of pilgrims’ deaths at Mina, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday said Tehran “should know better than to play politics with a tragedy that had befallen people who were performing their most sacred religious duty”. Previous year around two million people attended the pilgrimage which lasts a week.