The spokesman for the Iranian administration has slammed the comments by the Saudi foreign minister against the Islamic Republic following the deadly Hajj stampede as "hollow and cheap", Press TV reported.
In a press briefing in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Tuesday, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht blasted Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir for accusing Iran of politicizing the September 24 tragedy.
“We should accept that we are talking about a hostile state; such cheap and hollow comments by the Saudi foreign minister are not surprising.” Nobakht said, urging Saudi authorities to act responsibly in dealing with the issue.
Riyadh says 769 people were killed in the crush of pilgrims in Mina valley, near the holy city of Mecca. Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi, however, has estimated that the total death toll from the crush could stand at around 4,700.
With 239 Iranian pilgrims among the dead, Iran recorded the largest number of fatalities in the incident. Officials in Tehran say the incompetence and mismanagement of those in charge in Saudi Arabia is to blame for the tragedy.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for “an independent and precise investigation into the cause of this disaster and ways of preventing its reoccurrence.”
Rouhani cut short a trip to the UN headquarters in New York and arrived in Tehran on Tuesday to attend the funeral of the victims of the crush.
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