Iran's top leader is accusing Saudi Arabia of causing the death of injured pilgrims in last year's hajj stampede.

The website of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei quotes him on Monday as saying, "The ruthless and criminal Saudi men locked half-alive injured people up along with the dead in tightly closed containers and martyred them."

The September 2015 disaster became a lingering point of contention between the two Mideast rivals. The stampede killed at least 2,426 people, according to a count by The Associated Press. Tehran has said 464 of the dead were Iranian.

The deaths triggered months of lingering animosity between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The two countries severed diplomatic relations in January after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric and angry Iranian crowds overran Saudi diplomatic missions.