On the tragic stampede in Mecca on Thursday, Ban expressed deep condolences to President Rouhani over the death of more than 100 Iranian pilgrims.
Saudi emergency personnel stand near bodies of Hajj pilgrims at the site where hundreds of people were killed and hundreds more wounded in a crush in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, at the annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, 2015.
Iran appears to have suffered the highest number of casualties in Thursday’s stampede in Saudi Arabia.
At least 136 Iranian pilgrims have so far been confirmed dead in the deadly crush, according to the head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization.
Responding to media reports that Iran and Russian Federation are part of a coalition that would fight Islamic State and other militant groups in Syria, Rohani said that he does not see “a coalition between Iran and Russian Federation on fighting terrorism“.
“I emphasize the need for swift attention to the injured as well as investigating the causes of this incident and other similar incidents in this year’s Hajj”, he added. “This is not a situation with which to play politics”, he said before meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Iran’s outrage also has political motivations, as its battle with Saudi Arabia for regional influence sharpens week by week, correspondents say.
The rally, which is being organized by the OIAC, will press the global community to hold the regime in Iran accountable for its abhorrent human rights record. But politicizing the event, Iranian President Rohani suggested in his speech that the reason for the tragedy was that experienced officers who normally control the flow of people had been transferred to Yemen where the Saudis are supporting the regime against Iranian-proxy fighters who temporarily overthrew the incumbent government.
Iran´s historic nuclear deal has opened up regional cooperation that will help advance efforts in the area of environmental protection, he said.