Saudi’s Crown Prince slams Iran over Hajj comments
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince has responded to criticism made by Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over the kingdom’s ability to manage the pilgrimage
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef has responded to criticism made by Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over the kingdom’s ability to manage the pilgrimage after the deadly crush last year that killed hundreds of pilgrims.
In statement released through the state news agency SPA, he dismissed the comments made by Iran as lacking any credibility and objectivity. The Crown Prince reminded the Iranian supreme leader that Saudi had previously accommodated Iranian pilgrims with all the same facilities as all other pilgrims.
And he accused Iran of endangering the security of all Hajj pilgrims.
In the statement the Crown Prince said: “The Kingdom do not allow in any way the occurrence of what is contrary to the rites of the pilgrimage that may disturb security and affect the lives of pilgrims and their safety, be them Iranians or otherwise.”
He said the Iranian authorities were not interested in whether their own pilgrims attended Hajj or not. And he accused the nation of trying to politicize Hajj, using it as an opportunity to ‘violate the teachings of Islam, through shouting slogans and disturbing the security of pilgrims’.
He said: “The Iranian authorities are the ones who don’t want the Iranian pilgrims to come here for reasons concerning the Iranians themselves.”
He added that this was something the Saudis did not accept, adding: “we stand firmly and strongly against works that breach security, during the pilgrimage”.
He said Hajj was a sacred ritual and ‘the place is an honored place’.
He added Saudi’s duty was to guarantee safety of pilgrims and to facilitate their ability to perform the pilgrimage, ‘with all safety and security’.
He said: “Therefore, the Kingdom will deal firmly with violation of the purposes of Hajj and will not compromise the security of pilgrims, rather, it will be firm and decisive and each violator will be held responsible and be brought to law.”
He said the law would be enforced against anyone who attempted prevent the smooth running of, or safety and security of Hajj.