Hajj stampede: Iranians protest over deaths

Iran's supreme leader calls for Saudi apology

Iranians Protest Hajj Deaths

Hundreds of Iranians have marched through the streets in Tehran, chanting "death to the Saudi dynasty", over a deadly stampede that killed 769 people during the hajj pilgrimage.

The protesters, numbering around 400, also threw tomatoes and watermelons at the Saudi embassy walls, reports Reuters.

They are demanding answers from Saudi Arabia over the deaths of over 150 Iranians who were among those killed in Thursday's tragedy at the pilgrimage near Mecca.

Saudi Arabia says the tragedy occurred because the pilgrims ignored rules designed for crowd control. But these protesters don't accept that. Many are calling for international action against Saudi Arabia.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanded the Saudis apologise: "Why have all these murders and all these wounds and all these entanglements and injuries occurred now? The Islamic countries should demand this from Saudi Arabia.

"Instead of passing the buck and playing a blame game, the Saudis should accept their responsibility and apologise to the world's Muslims and the bereaved families."

Iran critical of the Saudi authorities

Tehran says 323 Iranians are still missing from the crush outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca. It was the worst disaster to strike the annual event in 25 years.

Iran has been fiercely critical of the Saudi authorities' handling of safety and questioned whether the kingdom was fit to carry on organising the annual pilgrimage.

Khamenei's statement came just hours after Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir hit back at criticism from its regional rival, saying it "shouldn't play politics with a tragedy."

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