Muslim pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque on September 14, 2015 in Saudi Arabia's holy Muslim city of Mecca. The hajj, a pillar of the Muslim religion, drew last year about two million faithful and is expected to start on September 21.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Top Iranian space scientist and university professor Ahmad Hatami was killed in the crane collapse in Mecca's Grand Mosque on Friday which killed 107, Iran's Fars News Agency reported on Monday.
An Iranian minister confirmed that Doctor Ahmad Hatami, who was a renowned member of the Iran Space Research Center, was killed along with 8 other Iranians who made the deadly pilgrimage to Mecca.
According to reports, eight Iranians were killed and 32 more were injured after intense storm winds caused a crane above the Grand Mosque to collapse.
On Sunday, Hedayatollah Mir-Moradzehi, a member of the Iranian parliament who is Sunni, said that following the deadly crane accident, Saudi Arabia should no longer be in charge of the Haj ceremony at the Muslim holy site.
"This incident is the result of the Saudi regime's imprudence and carelessness and they should have increased the safety factor for the construction projects around Kaaba," Mir-Moradzehi told Fars.
Mir-Moradzehi told the Iranian news agency that if Islamic countries within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) take the responsibility of handling the Haj ceremony, much better results will be yielded.
The lawmaker emphasized that Kaaba, the building at the center of the mosque, doesn’t merely belong to Saudi Arabia and it is for all the Muslims and therefore all of them should cooperate in running and administering the Haj ceremony.
Another Iranian lawmaker joined Mir-Moradzehi in his criticism of the Saudi government.
"The Saudi regime showed that it doesn't have enough capability to secure the safety of the pilgrims and manage the Haj ceremony," member of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Javad Jahangirzadeh told Fars.