Covered with Ehram, Iran protest Saudi ‘Hajj stampede’ in Rio Paralympics

Rio de Janeiro: At Rio Paralympics, Iran named its team “Mina” in honour of the deaths of hundreds of pilgrims after year’s fatal Hajj stampede.

Iran’s Paralympics team attended the opening ceremony and used the occasion to make a delicate symbolic dig at Saudi Arabia, over the deaths of tons of pilgrims in deadly Mina stampede.

Eshrat Kordestani, the flag-bearer of the team, attended the ceremony in a white clothing, similar to an Ehram, worn by female Hajj pilgrims.

The Tasnim agency reported “one was reminded of the core concept of the ceremony: ‘The heart knows no limits. Everybody has a heart.'”

The head of Iran’s Hajj Organisation accused Saudi Arabia on Friday of deliberately barring Iranians from the pilgrimage and refusing to discuss security measures despite last year’s deadly stampede.

Tens of thousands of Iranians who usually attend will be absent from the annual pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia when it starts on Saturday, after talks between the increasingly bitter rivals fell apart in May.