Ex- Iranian envoy to Lebanon confirmed dead in hajj stampede


Ghazanfar Rokn-AbadiIran’s former ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi, who went missing following last week’s deadly hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia, was confirmed dead Thursday, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli arrived at the house of the former ambassador to offer his condolences to his parents and inform them about the incident.

Tehran Thursday raised the death toll from the Saudi hajj disaster to 464, nearly double its previous number.

Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry says the stampede killed at least 769 pilgrims and injured 934. Pakistan, India, Indonesia and Iran all have said the toll may be higher.

Roknabadi was Tehran’s envoy to Beirut from 2010 to 2014.

Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham denied reports by some Arab media that he had traveled to Saudi Arabia under a false name.

“He entered with a normal passport to perform the hajj” and “his identity and that of other missing pilgrims have been provided to Saudi Arabia,” she said.

Roknabadi_visa to saudi arabiaIranian media published a photo of his passport with a Saudi visa.

Saudi and Iranian health ministers agreed after days of fierce debate to repatriate the corpses of Iranian pilgrims killed in the stampede.