Despite their promise of cooperation in certain areas, Saudi Arabia’s measures for pursuing the fate of missing Iranian pilgrims are not enough, the Iranian official said, referring to near 300 Iranian nationals who are still unaccounted for.
With pilgrims frantically searching for missing compatriots and photographs of piles of the dead circulating on social media, the tragedy haunted many on the Hajj a day on.
The protesters numbering around 400, a few throwing tomatoes and watermelons at the embassy walls, were outnumbered by police who erected tall crowd control barriers to keep them back from the compound on Sunday.
Saudi foreign minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said: “The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques [King Salman] has directed to launch a thorough investigation that will be transparent”.
The worst disaster to befall the Islamic event in a quarter of a century occurred last Thursday as two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometres outside the holy city. “Instead of passing the buck, the Saudis should accept their responsibility and apologise to the world’s Muslims and the bereaved families”, he said in comments reported by Iran’s official IRNA news agency.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in an address to United Nations, demanded that an investigation be started into the Hajj accident.
However, the fatality figure released by Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization stands at around 2,000.
Iran has promised to take global legal action against Saudi Arabia’s rulers as tensions continue to mount over the deadly Hajj stampede.
The death toll of Indian pilgrims in the horrific stampede during Haj rose to 22 today as Saudi Arabia grappled to come to terms with the horrific tragedy that has claimed 769 lives.
Jubeir, delivering remarks along with US Secretary of State John Kerry, asserted that Saudi Arabia was on top of the situation. “And we will make sure that we will learn from this and we will make sure that it doesn’t happen again”, he added.
More than 760 Hajj pilgrims were killed and 934 others were wounded in the Mina crush in Saudi Arabia.