Tehran issues blistering criticism of Riyadh over deaths of hundreds of Muslims in stampede during hajj pilgrimage
A senior Iranian official has slammed Saudi Arabia’s “irresponsible” handling of the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, where hundreds of Muslims were killed last week in a stampede, and speculated that the Saudi royal family would disappear within two decades.
“More bitter than the Mina incident was the Saudi king’s irresponsible, inhumane and non-Islamic behaviors,” General Yahya Rahim Safavi said Sunday, according to the semi-state run Fars News Agency.
Safavi, military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that in light of Riyadh’s inability to administer the annual Muslim pilgrimage, he expected the current Saudi government to rescind control over the holiest site in Islam.
“We hope that God willing, Mecca and Medina will be managed by an Islamic government in less than 20 years from now when there won’t be any al-Saud,” Safavi said.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are chief rivals in the greater Middle East. That conflict is on display in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bombing Shiite rebels there Iran has backed.
Thousands protested in the streets of Tehran on Friday as a senior cleric angrily demanded Saudi Arabia hand over control of the annual pilgrimage to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s largest body of Muslim nations.
Full article: Iran official: Saudi royal house to fall within 20 years (The Times of Israel)