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Missing Iranian Diplomat Confirmed Dead

The body of a former Iranian diplomat missing since the September hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia has been found, Iranian news agencies have reported.

The corpse of Iran's former ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, was identified through DNA tests, the ISNA news agency reported on November 25, citing unnamed "reliable sources."

In an interview with the Tasnim news agency, Roknabadi's daughter confirmed that the body of the former diplomat had been found among the pilgrims killed in the crush.

She said it wasn't clear when the body will be repatriated to Iran.

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

Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Abdolahian said earlier this month that Tehran would persist in efforts to clarify the fate of Roknabadi and other Iranians missing in the aftermath of the crush.

The incident led to increased tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iran has blamed Saudi "mismanagement" for the tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 464 Iranians.

Saudi authorities say 769 hajj pilgrims died in the stampede. But independent tallies by news organizations put the death toll at more than 2,000 people, making it the deadliest hajj tragedy ever.

Based on reporting by ISNA, Tasnim, AFP, and AP