Several Arabic media outlets are reporting that a number of Islamic Republic officials have been lost or “kidnapped” in the incident at Mena, and the Iranian Supreme Leader’s advisor on international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, has confirmed that a number of Iran’s “high-ranking officials” went missing or were killed in the incident.
ISNA reports that Velayati said on Tuesday: “A number of our high-ranking officials are missing or have been killed, and Saudi Arabia has to take necessary measures to follow up on the matter.”
On Sunday, Bulletin News quoted Nahreyn Net saying a number of diplomats are exchanging information that indicates that Mossad and Saudi Intelligence forces prepared a joint operation to kidnap a number of Iranian officials including IRGC officials, ambassadors and staff working at the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader.
Velayati did not rule out the possibility of a conspiracy between Israel and Saudi Arabia. He said the collaboration of these two countries “in certain areas is undeniable”.
Velayati stressed that Saudi Arabia must comply with its responsibilities to the pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia to take part in the holy rituals of the Haj. He added that in the alternative, the Islamic Cooperation Organization and Islamic countries should take necessary steps.
Saudi Arabian authorities say about 800 pilgrims died in a stampede at Mena on September 24. Iran maintains that the number of fatalities is much higher.
The latest reports from Iranian officials state that 239 Iranian pilgrims were killed and 241 remain unaccounted for.
The Iranian government, including Iran’s Supreme Leader, has accused Saudi Arabia of mismanaging the Haj ceremonies.
Saudi officials have refused to allow an Iranian government delegation to travel to their country for further follow-up on the incident at Mena.