Saudis Bar Iran Minister From Visiting Mecca

Saudis Bar Iran Minister From Visiting Mecca
Saudis Bar Iran Minister From Visiting Mecca

Saudi Arabia has barred Health Minister Hassan Hashemi from visiting Iranian pilgrims injured in Thursday’s stampede at Mina, near the Islamic holy city of Mecca.

Health Ministry spokesperson Iraj Harirchi said Saudi officials had also rejected the dispatch of an Iranian team to help the wounded.

He said the Health Ministry had announced readiness to send a medical team to Mina immediately after the disaster to assist Iranian pilgrims but Saudi authorities rejected the proposal, reports IRNA.

Iranian medical teams stationed in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the hajj season, are working under trying conditions to render medical aid to injured Iranian pilgrims in Saudi hospitals and Iranian medical centers. The 103 Iranian pilgrims hospitalized are said to be in stable condition.

The main concern now is over the huge number still missing. There is no information about the fate of 325 Iranians.

So far, 136 Iranians have been declared dead from among thousands of casualties in the stampede during the symbolic ‘Stoning the Devil’ ritual.

Tehran City Council member Abolfazl Ghena’ati said the deceased pilgrims will be laid to rest in a special block at Tehran’s main cemetery, Behesht-e Zahra.

Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi, said two planes are on standby to transfer the bodies of the deceased after legal procedures are completed, which could be on September 28 or 29.