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Iran slams US stopping aid to flood victims as ‘an unprecedented crime’

An aerial view of flood-hit areas in Iran on 21 March 2019 [Presidency of Iran/Handout/Anadolu Agency]
An aerial view of flood-hit areas in Iran on 21 March 2019 [Presidency of Iran/Handout/Anadolu Agency]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani yesterday criticised the United States’ blocking of international aid which was being sent to flood victims in the country as “an unprecedented crime”.

In a meeting with a number of ministers and lawmakers in the capital Tehran, Rouhani said that the floods have caused great damage to the Iranian people in many provinces and that many Iranian citizens lost their lives as a result.

He pointed out that the United States prevents the arrival of international aid to Iran, and that the Red Crescent cannot receive assistance from other countries under these harsh conditions.

The Iranian president explained that he had asked the Iranian foreign ministry and concerned legal authorities to investigate reasons that prevent Iranians residing abroad from sending aid to the victims.

READ: Iran urges oil firms to assist flood relief as IFRC boosts aid

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that his country was ready to provide assistance to flood victims through the United States Red Cross and Iranian Crescent.

However, Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, said the US sanctions imposed on his country are hampering the arrival of international aid to flood-affected areas.

Ahmad Shojaei, head of Iran’s forensic medicine directorate, said at least 62 people had lost their lives as a result of the floods, 478 have been injured.

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