Iran: tests will show how diplomat died
November 28 2015 12:08 AM
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Soldiers carry the coffin of diplomat Ghazanfar Roknabadi at Mehrabad airport in Tehran yesterday.

AFP
Tehran

Iran expects medical tests to establish within 48 hours if a high-ranking diplomat died on pilgrimage in the stampede at the Haj in Saudi Arabia.
Ghazanfar Roknabadi, 49, was a former ambassador to Lebanon.
Iran confirmed on Thursday that Roknabadi’s corpse had been identified in Saudi Arabia.
His body arrived back in Tehran yesterday with his coffin draped in the Iranian flag for a funeral ceremony.
Roknabadi’s body was identified by DNA in Saudi Arabia but secondary testing will be used to determine if he died in the stampede, the Isna news agency quoted his brother as saying.
At least 2,236 worshippers perished in the giant crush at Mina in September.
When Roknabadi was initially reported as being among the Haj victims, Iran’s foreign ministry denied claims by some Arab media that he had travelled to Saudi Arabia under a false name.
Yesterday, ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari confirmed further testing would take place to establish how the diplomat died.
State media reported yesterday that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif held a bilateral meeting with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir on November 14 in Vienna.
The meeting, on the sidelines of international peace talks over Syria, is thought to be the highest direct engagement between Iran and Saudi since King Salman came to power in January.
Isna and other news agencies said the ministers discussed the Mina stampede, the pilgrims still missing and legal aspects of the incident.


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