Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei declares three days of national mourning following the deaths of several hundred Hajj pilgrims, including at least 125 Iranian nationals, in the holy city of Mecca.
“Offering condolences to the bereaved [families of killed pilgrims], I declare three days of national mourning in the country," Ayatollah Khamenei said in a message on Thursday.
"The Saudi government is obligated to shoulder its heavy responsibility in this bitter incident and meet its obligations in compliance with the rule of righteousness and fairness. Mismanagement and improper measures that were behind this tragedy should not be overlooked," the Leader said.
The disaster created a “great grief" in the Islamic world, the Leader said, condoling with the survivors and mourners throughout the Muslim community and extending all possible assistance to the pilgrims of other countries.
The administration of President Hassan Rouhani also issued a statement, noting that the Saudi government is responsible for the consequences of disregard of its obligation of guaranteeing security for the pilgrims.
It called on the Saudi government to “identify the factors that caused this incident", help repatriate the bodies of the dead to Iran quickly and provide treatment to the injured.
Saudi authorities say 717 people have been killed while Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization puts the death toll at more than 1,300.