King Salman on Monday rejected any suggestions that Saudi Arabia should give up its role as the organizer of the hajj following last month’s deadly stampede in Mina.

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“The irresponsible statements aiming for political exploitation of the incident… shall not affect the role of Saudi Arabia, its duty and responsibilities in serving the guests of God,” the king said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

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An Iranian top cleric had called for the hajj to be managed by other Islamic states after at least 464 Iranians were among 1,587 pilgrims killed in the stampede, according to figures given by foreign officials.

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