Iran denounces US blockade of funds for flood victims

The Iranian Red Crescent describes the US sanctions against all foreign financial aid to those affected by the floods in the Persian country as ‘inhumane’.The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) denounced on Sunday in a statement that it has not yet received “any cash donations” from abroad due to the lack of available financial channels.”Some institutions and countries have expressed their willingness to donate and have also announced certain sums of money; but as a result of inhumane U.S. sanctions, there is no way to send this cash assistance” to Iran, the note reads.Elsewhere in the statement, IRCS emphasizes that, despite allegations by U.S. officials that the sanctions do not affect the civilian population, these coercive measures hinder the process of helping people affected by the floods, in particular weakening logistical capabilities and air rescue.Due to U.S. sanctions, the note adds, the relief institution has been unable to purchase new helicopters and faces difficulties in acquiring spare parts to maintain its current fleet of aircraft.At least 70 people have died since 19 March in floods and extreme weather conditions in 21 of the country’s 31 provinces. The Meteorological Organization forecasts more rains in the northern region.The head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Ali Asghar Peyvandi, a few days ago criticized the U.S. Administration for blocking the rescue entity’s access to the World Interbank Financial Telecommunication Society (SWIFT).”Before the [re-imposition of the US sanctions], we had some Red Crescent accounts connected to SWIFT and received international assistance through them. However, at present, these accounts have been sanctioned and there is no possibility of money transfers from other countries, including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,” Peyvandi told the local press.This while the United Nations (UN) recalled on Tuesday that U.S. sanctions should exclude the delivery of humanitarian aid to victims of heavy flooding, unprecedented in several decades in Iran.

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