Mon Oct 5, 2015 11:19AM
Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi
Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry says it is collecting hard evidence to determine whether or not the recent deadly crush in Mina near the holy Saudi city of Mecca occurred with malice aforethought.

“The Intelligence Ministry has begun its work in this regard,” said Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi at a funeral service held in the southern city of Shiraz in Fars Province on Monday for a number of the Iranian pilgrims killed in the tragedy.

The crush happened on September 24 after two large masses of Hajj pilgrims fused together. Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization puts the death toll from the tragedy at around 4,700 people, including 464 Iranians. Saudi Arabia says nearly 770 people were killed. 

The minister further said the Mina incident is not an issue that only Iran is concerned with, but rather “a key issue facing the world of Islam and 22 mourning Islamic countries.”

The photo shows the bodies of a number of the Hajj pilgrims killed in a crush in Mina near the Saudi city of Mecca on September 24, 2015.

 

Stressing that the tragedy has an “international dimension,” Alavi urged Iran and other Islamic nations to work in tandem to pursue the matter.

The Iranian vice president for legal affairs is also making arrangements to file a lawsuit with international legal circles on behalf of the bereaved families of the victims to prompt proper action on the tragic event, the intelligence minister added.

Saudi authorities’ incompetence and imprudence are to blame for the incident, said the minister, adding that the Saudi government could have mitigated the extent of the tragedy and Muslim nations’ outrage if it had cooperated in attending to the wounded and identifying the deceased.