Sep 14, 2016 16:20 UTC
  • Senior Iranian official advises Saudis against politicizing Hajj

Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, a top military adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said that Saudi Arabia has politicized the Hajj rituals, advising officials in Riyadh against trying Tehran’s patience.

According to Press TV, he said: "Unfortunately, Saudi rulers have turned the Hajj into a political leverage in order to mount pressure [on other countries] and use it in service of their obstructionist efforts."

Safavi added that Tehran has demonstrated "restraint” in the face of the Saudi policies against Iran.

The Iranian official said the deadly incidents during last year’s Hajj rituals in Saudi Arabia have “stigmatized” Aal-e Saud.

Noting that the Saudi regime has been to insolent as not to apologize to Muslim countries for its failure to properly handle the religious rituals, the Iranian official added that Riyadh even goes as far as impeding Iranian Hajj pilgrims from performing one of the most important Islamic obligations.   

About 7,000 people, including 465 Iranians, lost their lives in a crush during Hajj rituals in Mina, near Mecca, on September 24, 2015, with Iran having the greatest number of deaths among foreign nationals.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Safavi highlighted the significance of the Islamic Republic of Iran in maintaining peace and security in the Persian Gulf region, saying that Saudi Arabia views the Islamic Republic as a “strategic rival” in the Persian Gulf region.  

The Saudi officials, "guided by the US and the Zionists, seek to create tension in their ties with Iran,” the senior Iranian commander added, stressing that Saudis’ failures in Iraq, Syria and Yemen are the result of the “unwise policies” of the rulers of the kingdom.