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Iran Searching For Former Diplomat Who Went Missing In Hajj Stampede

  • RFE/RL

Iran says it has launched an investigation into the fate of its former ambassador to Lebanon, who went missing in September’s deadly hajj stampede, through the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Abdolahian said on November 5 that Tehran will persist in its efforts to clarify the fate of Ghazanfar Roknabadi and 27 other Iranians who went missing in the aftermath of the crush.

Iran has blamed Saudi “mismanagement” for the tragedy.

Iranian officials have suggested Roknabadi may have been kidnapped amid the chaos after the stampede broke out.

Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Reza Mohseni Sani said on November 5 that there is “concrete evidence” that Roknabadi was alive while being transferred to a hospital in Mina after the tragedy.

The hajj disaster resulted in the deaths of at least 464 Iranians and further soured already tense relations between Tehran and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi authorities say 769 hajj pilgrims died in the stampede. But independent tallies by news organizations put the death toll at between 1,358 and 1,470 people, making it the deadliest hajj tragedy ever.

With reporting by IRNA and Fars
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