Call for Transparency Over Hajj Disaster

Call for Transparency Over Hajj DisasterCall for Transparency Over Hajj Disaster

The Islamic Republic is not after politicizing the Sept. 24 crush disaster during Hajj rituals in Mecca, rather it calls for acceptance of responsibility and full transparency with respect to the tragedy, a senior diplomat says.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi made the remarks in the meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, in response to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir who had, at the session, criticized what he called the politicization of the disaster, IRNA reported.

"The tragedy claimed the lives of hundreds of pilgrims, namely 465 Iranians; furthermore, some Iranian pilgrims are still missing after eight days. Unfortunately they are all assumed to be dead," Araqchi noted, adding that Saudi Arabia must take appropriate measures to prevent similar catastrophes in the future.

  Riyadh Offers Condolences

Meanwhile, Riyadh offered condolences to Iran over the incident.

Saudi and Iranian media said the message of sympathy was delivered on Wednesday at a meeting between Saudi Health Minister Khalid al-Falih and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi in Jeddah.

"Al-Falih conveyed the condolences of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, to the Iranian government and to the families of the victims, and asserted the wish of the kingdom's government to cooperate with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran," al-Riyadh said.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warned on Wednesday of "the harshest response" should Iranians be disrespected.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Wednesday Iran would not allow a single Iranian to be buried in Saudi Arabia.

OIC foreign ministers met to hold consultations and improve coordination to better address issues facing the Muslim world.

Highlighting the commonalities among OIC members, Araqchi reiterated that Islamic states need to cooperate to help overcome challenges and should not let sectarianism overshadow their unity.