Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has launched a blistering attack on Saudi Arabia, urging Muslims to “reconsider” its custodianship of Islam’s holiest sites.
The ayatollah in a statement marking the anniversary of the 2015 hajj stampede, accused the Saudis of “murdering” pilgrims who were caught up in a stampede during the hajj.
He alleged that the injured were locked in containers and not provided medical treatment.
The stampede killed 2,426 people, according to an unofficial tally, but the Saudi authorities said only 769 died.
The Ayatollah called on the Islamic world to “fundamentally reconsider the management of the two holy places” – mecca’s great mosque and the prophet’s mosque in medina – and “the issue of hajj”.
In May, Iran’s hajj organisation declared that pilgrims from the country would not be able to attend this year’s hajj, blaming “ongoing sabotage by the Saudi government”.