In a meeting with H. I. Ghazi Askar, the representative of Iran's supreme leader in Hajj and the head of Iranian pilgrims, and Saied Owhadi, the head of Iran's Hajj pilgrimage, Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi extended his condolences, yet again, regarding the tragic incident of Mina and said: this incident was an important one as it was almost unprecedented in the history of Islam, and the scope of the tragedy was quite heart-rending and shocking.
Emphasizing that this disaster must be fully investigated, he said: the causes of this tragedy must be investigated and pursued, and necessary measures have to be taken to prevent such disasters to occur in the future.
Appreciating the efforts of the representative of Iran's supreme leader in the Hajj organization, the head of the Hajj organization, and all Hajj officials who diligently pursued the matter in Saudi Arabia, his eminence noted: though the Saudi government did not cooperate with you in the matter, you made every effort you could muster and returned the bodies of many of those who were killed in the tragedy of Mina to the country, and the deceased had proper funerals arranged for them”.
He further noted: this is indicative of the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran values and cares about all of its citizens, and what you did protected the honor of Iran and that of all Shiites, and it also revealed the scope of the crimes committed by the Saudi government and the people also showed their hatred and anger of the Saudi government; while we did not see this in other countries.
Calling the disaster of Mina a blow to the sanctity of Hajj, Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi stated: unfortunately we have to admit that this tragedy was a major blow to the sanctity of Hajj, and it cannot be made up for easily”.
He further continued: following this incident some of our enemies and also the enemies of Islam have been criticizing the Hajj pilgrimage questioning the necessity of going on this obligatory divine ritual. Other adverse consequences entailed this tragedy that must not be neglected either.
Calling for a chronology of the incidents of Mina to be established, consisting of all documents, facts, news and footage pertaining to the tragedy, his eminence stated: this collection of documents must be compiled as soon as possible, and it must be made available to the public, so as for the people to realize what has really happened and not to forget the disaster that happened in Mina.
He said: the officials must also pursue this issue through the related international organizations and we, the religious authorities, can also use our connections with the prominent scholars and religious authorities of the Muslim world to pursue this matter so as to help to assuage the pain of the Muslim people due to this great tragedy”.
Emphasizing the necessity of consolidation and sympathy with all Muslims who were bereaved of their loved ones in this incident, Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi noted: In order to pursue the causes of this great tragedy, a fact-finding committee including members from your organization and some of the members of the bereaved families as well as representatives of responsible international organizations has to be set up as soon as possible, and they have to get to the bottom of this tragic incident and they must continue their investigations until those responsible for this heart-rending disaster are brought to justice, the incurred losses are compensated, and the necessary measures are taken to prevent such incidents to happen ever again.
Emphasizing that this issue has to be brought up with Muslim scholars all over the world realistically and regardless of their political stance, and that they have to be asked to take part in the pursuit of this issue, his eminence stated: this issue has to be investigated fully, using a proper and courteous language and showing sympathy and goodwill.
Addressing the head of the Iranian pilgrims and the head of Iran's Hajj organization, he said: alongside your efforts in this regard, you must carry out your duty regarding the Iranian pilgrims. Irrespective of whether they take the necessary measures to prevent such tragedies in the future or not, you must begin preparations and take necessary measures to protect the Iranian pilgrims in the coming years during Hajj rituals.
His eminence, then, added: perhaps a number of your agents should not enter the state of Ihram, who can then perform an independent Umrah, and so they will be free to take the necessary actions should an unforeseen incident takes place; you must predict things like this and give your agents the necessary training in this regard. You should begin your preparations for the next year Hajj pilgrimage and you should come up with plans to wipe this bad memory concerning Hajj pilgrimage off people's minds.