Iran sends DNA sample to Saudi Arabia to clarify fate of missing diplomat
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 4
By Umid Niayesh, Temkin Jafarov- Trend:
Iran has sent DNA samples to Saudi Arabia to clarify the fate of 28 Iranians, including senior diplomat Ghazanfar Roknabadi, who remain missing following the deadly stampede in Saudi Arabia's Mecca on Sept. 24.
This was confirmed by Ali Qazi Askar, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni's representative for hajj and pilgrimage affairs, who spoke to Trend Nov. 4.
Roknabadi, 49, who was attending the annual Muslim gathering, is among those Iranians who remain missing following the stampede, which killed at least 464 of the Islamic republic's citizens.
Until last year, Roknabadi was Tehran's envoy to Beirut, which is a highly sensitive post.
Iran has rejected some media reports, suggesting that Roknabadi traveled to Saudi Arabia under a false name.
Qazi Askar further reported that the Saudi administration has promised to provide information about the missing Iranian pilgrims in the coming days.
He underlined that the Islamic Republic is seriously working to resolve the fate of its missing pilgrims.
The official also said that Tehran is determined to respond to the death of its nationals in Saudi Arabia through legal channels.
Another issue is documentation of this event, Qazi Askar said, adding that Iran is gathering information and details regarding the incident from both Iranian and foreign pilgrims.
He noted that, in the future, Tehran will share this documentation with the public.
The Iranian official also accused the Saudi administration of hiding the true statistics about the number of causalities following the stampede.
With 464 dead, Iran has the highest death toll among over 30 countries whose nationals were killed, with Nigeria following next with 199 dead.
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