The Office of the Supreme Leader

The Leader’s remarks in meeting with families of Martyrs of Mina and the Grand Mosque of Mecca

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

(Arabic prayers)

First of all, you are very welcome the dear families of our innocent martyrs in Mina and the Masjid al-Haram of last year. Each year, before the Hajj season, I had a public meeting like this with the officials in charge of the Hajj, some directors [of Hajj delegations] and some esteemed Hajj pilgrims. Those meetings were happy and sweet meetings. A group of our people, the devout faithful, old and young, from all corners of the country set off for the Hajj and one would feel proud, [and] feel happy that these [pilgrims] join the gathering of Muslims from other countries and fulfill the obligation of the Hajj. This year, however, our meeting, unfortunately, is not a happy meeting, [but] is a meeting [to commemorate] the sorrow and tragedy and remember the painful incident, which took place in Mina last year. The issue of our loved ones losing their lives and being martyred in Mina is a very important issue.
[The fact] that I said this [incident] must not be forgotten is not merely because we have lost loved ones, [but] the incident is important [in itself]; this incident has various aspects; this incident is enlightening in political terms, in social terms, [and] in moral and religious terms. Well, for us, the Iranian people, and certainly for the survivors of these martyrs in other countries, [this] incident is a mournful incident; this [sorrow] is natural and inevitable. Our hearts are full of sorrow, [and] full of grief. The passage of time has not reduced the importance of this incident and the sorrow of this incident in our hearts and our minds. We are sad about this incident, [because] our loved ones in Mina and also at the Masjid al-Haram passed away while doing acts of worship, passed away with thirsty lips, [and] spent the last hours of their life under the scorching and searing sun; all these [facts] are painful; these are those things which wrench our hearts, [and] we cannot forget these [painful developments]. However, [various] dimensions of this issue are go far beyond these.
One viewpoint [about this incident] is the viewpoint of you, the families and survivors [of Hajj martyrs]. I tell you that the loss of your loved ones, both those who have lost their fathers or mothers, and those who have lost their children in this incident, and those who have lost their spouses, and those who have lost their brothers and sisters is certainly a grave incident and very difficult incident for you. When I compare [this tragedy with other issues], I understand the grandness and heaviness of your sorrow, [and] understand how heavily it is weighing on your hearts. They have sent [their] Hajji [Hajj pilgrim] to Mecca with hope, with happiness, [and] while content about having succeeded to do this, [and] they are waiting [for their Hajji] to get back, [and when he returns] his return is accompanied with delight, and is accompanied with happiness, [but] then they are informed that his [dead] body will return. This is a very difficult thing [to experience], [and] is very hard [to accept].
It is [not only] very difficult for you, but this incident is [also very] difficult for the entire nation; that is, all those who really understand and [have a good] grasp [of] this incident. However, the thing, which can alleviate [the pain in] your hearts is that although these dear ones are lost and their absence is very difficult for you, they are [now], God willing, submerged in the divine bounty. It was a good death; the quality of death and one’s passing away determines one’s fate. All of us will leave [this world], [and] it has nothing to do with being old and young, [or being] man and woman, everybody passes away; however, some people pass away in a way that if one looks at it with an eye that is observant of truth, would be glad and happy with that way of passing away; like martyrs, and all martyrs are like this.
Your loved ones passed away while doing worship and mentioning God, passed away in Ihram garment, [and] passed away with their hearts oriented toward the Almighty God and while doing their [religious] duty. These are all assets and means of [obtaining] the divine forgiveness and the divine mercy, and for the elevation of [one’s] rank before God. In addition to [all] these, they underwent hardship, [because] some of them were alive for perhaps many hours, [and] were under pressure, both under the [searing] sun and inside those warm and hot containers, [and] with scorched lips; these are those things, which attract the divine mercy. Yes, you are mourning, [and] are bereft, [because] you have lost your children, spouses, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters; this is difficult, but remember in what state they currently are.
We are afflicted here, [and we] are wading and making our way forward through all [kinds of] mundane afflictions, [and] in a world polluted with all kinds and types of misguiding and corrupting and demeaning elements and factors for humans; it [is] us, who are afflicted [with all kinds of problems] here, [and] we must shed more tears on ourselves and be sad [about our situation] rather than [having regret for] those who have taken refuge under the divine mercy and, God willing, are passing time in the divine bounty and under the divine Providence. This is a consolation for you. Yes, your young one went or your father and mother went or your dear spouse went [on Hajj pilgrimage]. This is difficult, but they are now [living] in the divine bounty.
We will pass away, as well, [and] may God have mercy on us; with all these afflictions [and] with all these problems. The Almighty God saved them from the world of pollutions to [take them to] the best place and into the best state; [and this happened when they were] doing acts of worship. Some people die when they are committing sin, some people die while going on with their ordinary, routine life, some others die while being unthankful [of God’s bounties]; these forms of dying are those deaths, which are really [cause of] tragedy and mourning for their families. However, some people die with the sacred words on their lips, [and] while they are focused on [mentioning] God. This [kind of death] is a source of consolation and source of comfort for the family of the deceased and the lost person alike. This is one [different] dimension of this issue.
Another dimension of [this] issue is the issue of the Islamic Ummah. The Islamic Ummah across its wide expanse became mournful over this incident. Well, our martyrs, [both] the martyrs of Mina [incident] and the martyrs of [the crane collapse at] the Masjid al-Haram were in toto about 470, or for example, 480 [martyrs], but what statistics show is that the sum total of martyrs from different countries stood at about 7,000! This is a very high figure. Why in other countries, governments, families, [and] nations showed no reaction to this incident? What great scourge is this, which has afflicted the Islamic Ummah? This is the big tragedy. Governments are bugged with political formality, [and] statesmen in various countries are possibly a slave to money and power and political relations and the likes of these, [but] why their scholars have remained silent? Why their clerics did not say anything? Why their political activists did not talk [about this incident]? Why their intellectuals did not write any articles [on this issue], did not protest, [and] did not speak out? 
Of course, in other countries, their martyrs were not as numerous as ours, but one hundred people, [or] two hundred people from countries like Egypt, like Mali, like Nigeria, and other countries were martyred [in Mina incident]. Well, now, heads of state are stalled by political equations and power equations, [and this is why] they don’t [protest to Saudi Arabia], [therefore,] one does not expect much from them considering this [current] state in which governments, unfortunately, are, [and] one cannot expect much from them; however, why prominent figures in the society [of those countries] do not say anything, [and] why they have remained silent? For the Islamic world, this is the scourge, [and] this is the [main] tragedy, [I mean,] insensitivity to such a great incident at the House of God, which in the neighborhood of the Divine House, people [would be allowed to] get away with a grave [and] disgraceful incident with complete insolence and shamelessness, without offering even an apology to the Islamic world.
The Saudi rulers did not [even] apologize to the Islamic world in words! How shameless are these [Saudi rulers], [and] how brazen [they are]! Isn’t this oversight that they did, the mismanagement that they showed, [and] the incompetence, which they demonstrated [serious enough?] Now some people say it was intentional, [but] even if this is not the case, this mere mismanagement and incompetence is a crime for a government and political establishment; why you could not manage [the Hajj properly]? Why you could not maintain the security of this population, who are guests of the Merciful God, are guests of God and from whom you earn so much revenue and make a title for yourselves? What guarantee is there that similar incidents would not take place at similar times? This is a big question. The Islamic world must hold them accountable, [and] ask them questions; why they are not asking questions? These are tragedies of the Islamic world.
[The fact] that the Islamic Republic stands alone in the face of all this ignorance, all this misguidance, all this materialism, [and] all this oversight and probably lack of [religious] zeal of others and openly and clearly gives voice to its Quranic positions, its Islamic positions, [and] its rightful positions, this is the same index of which you, the Iranian nation, must be and are proud. And it is you, the Iranian nation, who has given birth to this power, [and] to this valor, which can [stand] in the face of a dark [and] ignorant world [and] say what is right and tell the truth. The reality is that these people who showed this incompetence, [and] imposed this insecurity on Hajj pilgrims of the Islamic world – who come together there once a year – these [people] are, fairly speaking, not qualified to run the Two Holy Mosques, [and] are not qualified to serve the Two Holy Mosques; this is the reality of this case. This [concept] must be established in the Islamic world, [and] this idea must be promoted. This is also one dimension of this issue.
Another dimension [of this issue] is to look at a world, which has a claim to [be advocating] human rights. Well, assume that somewhere, a person with a charge in a country is killed, [I mean,] is executed or sent to prison, [and] you see that clamor starts over human rights [of that guilty person] – of course [this happens] with regard to those countries for which there is motivation [among the so-called human rights advocates] for opposition and fighting against them – [and] they raise Cain [in these cases]. [However,] here, several thousand [people] lose their lives due to incompetence and mismanagement and misconduct of a government and these human rights bodies and governments with a claim to human rights maintain a deadly silence and do not say anything; they say nothing!
This is also an important point. These people, who are infatuated with international organs and organizations and pin their hope on them, [must] see this truth, understand this reality, [and] see how false and unreal is the identity of these organizations and these organs. [International bodies] kept silent in this case, [and] did not say anything. Sometimes even the rights of animals become so important to them, which they clamor [over them], [but it is strange that] several thousand people are massacred in such an incident – not an accidental incident, not a plane crash, [but] in an incident in which some people were duty-bound to manage this incident correctly, [because] they are, as the saying goes, landlords here, are in charge of affairs, [and] it was their duty to protect security of these [pilgrims] – and these [international rights bodies] do not say anything, [and] remain totally silent!
One of the obligatory and necessary tasks for officials of the Islamic Ummah and those who have a claim [to be advocating] human rights is to establish a fact-finding delegation in this case; they must go [to Saudi Arabia and shed light on] the truth. Although now, one year has passed [since the Mina incident], interviews have been carried out, photos have been taken, [and] there are papers and documents, which can greatly clarify the truth; [so,] a fact-finding group [must] go [and] reveal the truth of this case. It must become clear whether Al Saud is to blame in this incident or not – they say ‘we are not to blame’ – [but] this must be clarified, [and] the reality of this case must be revealed [to see] whether these [Saudi officials] are to blame or are not to blame. This evil [and] accursed dynasty and tree shuts [people’s] mouths with money, [and] these servants of money and servants of [the mundane] world do not allow anybody talk [against] them, [and] raise a protest. A fact-finding delegation is needed, [because] they must go there [and] see up-close, [and] follow up on this issue, no matter how long it would take. This is among [those] tasks, our esteemed officials must also take into consideration and follow up and attach importance to. This is also one [different] dimension of this issue.
Another dimension of this issue is that we must know in this incident and in similar incidents that those powers, which support Al Saud are also complicit. Yes, Americans were not part of the Mina issue, but at the same time, their hands are stained with the blood of our Mina martyrs. It is due to the support of America’s power and America’s accompaniment that these malfunctioning [Saudi] rulers can stand in the face of the Islamic world so flagrantly and commit this great sin and do not apologize [by expressing] even a single world; [this] is due to their support, so they are also complicit, just in the same way that also in the case of Yemen, [and] in various cases in the Islamic world – including in the case of Syria, in the case of Iraq, [and] in the case of Bahrain – if any damage and loss is inflicted on Muslims, Americans have a hand in [any] felony and crime. It is their support which enables these insolent and these shameless [Saudi officials] to commit crime and treachery in this way and stab the Islamic Ummah in the back; it is for this reason.
Another important point is that Western countries’ propaganda machines and, in fact, their spy services and the likes of them try to blame this [incident] on the fight among Islamic [societies]; the fight between Shias and Sunnis, [and] the fight between Arabs and non-Arabs. This is a sheer lie, [and] this has nothing to do with the fight between Shia and Sunni [Muslims]. Those people who were martyred in the Mina incident, most [of them] were Sunnis; [even] from our own country, there is a great number of Sunni families [among Mina martyrs]; [therefore,] this is not an issue between Arab and non-Arab nations; these [Saudi rulers] show no mercy to Arabs and non-Arabs. You see that they are committing crimes in Yemen. Well, Yemen is [an] Arab [country], Syria is Arab, Iraq is Arab, [and] their agents, these ruthless [and] brutal terrorist groups, which are wreaking havoc on the Islamic world with their money [and] their weapons, these are all Arabs; [therefore,] Arab and non-Arab is not an issue here.
[It is] the wicked propaganda by Western countries, which wants to introduce this as a fight between Shia and Sunni Muslims or a fight between Arab and non-Arab nations. This is one of those wicked propaganda ploys, which is totally against the reality. The problem is that these [conspirators] are a group inside the Islamic world, which are at work as the enemies of the Islamic Ummah; now, some of them [do this] knowingly, [and] others unknowingly.
The Islamic world must stand up to these [Saudi rulers]; the Islamic world must disavow these [Saudi rulers] and their masters, which include America and the wicked Britain and [other] faithless and immoral Western powers; [they] must know what they are doing. The Iranian nation has raised the flag of independence, [and] has demonstrated the dignity of Islam. Today, slogans of you people, the position of you people, the situation that you have created, [and] those steps that are being taken inside the country – these advances, these huge popular movements, [and] this independence in the face of the wave of sedition and corruption, which is rife in the Western world – [all of] these are cause of pride for Islam, [and] cause of dignity for Islam. This dignity has come about by the Iranian nation and, God willing, will continue.
I hope that the Almighty God would make the Iranian nation more dignified and exalted day by day; increase the strength and power and might of the Islamic Ummah; [and] God willing, do away with these maladies of the Islamic world. And the esteemed officials of our own country, who shouldered and still shoulder [certain] duties vis-à-vis this huge incident, should follow up on those duties; both the esteemed Martyr Foundation and those related to [management of] the Hajj – including [the Leader’s] hajj office and the Hajj [and Pilgrimage] Organization – [should follow up on] whatever is their duty with regard to this important issue. Just in the same way that they have attended to many of these tasks so far, they must also seriously attend to this [as well]; both the administration officials and the Foreign Ministry and others [as well]. Every one of them is responsible for [specific] tasks; this issue is an important issue, is a big issue, and is not related to one [specific] group, [but] it is related to Islamic nation and Iranian nation, and on a larger scale, is related to the [entire] Islamic Ummah; we all have a duty [in this regard]. [I hope] the Almighty would, God willing, help [us] so that we would all be able to fulfill our duties.

Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings