Iran Hit By 3rd Major Flood In Past 2 Weeks; Foreign Minister Blames U.S. Sanctions For Hindering Rescue Efforts

Agence France-Presse: Iran orders evacuation of flood-hit western cities
“The authorities on Monday ordered the immediate evacuation of flood-stricken cities in western Iran as rivers burst banks, dams overflowed, and vast areas were cut off from communication. … This is the third major flood to hit Iran in the past two weeks after heavy rainfalls in the mostly arid country, which had endured a prolonged drought until this year. The first flood struck the northeast of the country on March 19 and the second hit the west and southwest on March 25, with a combined reported death toll of 45 people…” (4/1).

Associated Press: Iran says U.S. sanctions impede flood rescue operations
“Iran’s foreign minister says sanctions imposed by the Trump administration last year have hampered rescue efforts in flood-stricken areas of the country, where nearly 60 people have died since mid-March, while the U.S. blamed the disaster on the Iranian government’s own ‘mismanagement.’ Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted late Monday that America’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy on Iran ‘is impeding aid efforts by #IranianRedCrescent to all communities devastated by unprecedented floods.’ He said the sanctions have prevented Iran from acquiring badly needed equipment, including relief helicopters…” (Karimi, 4/2).

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