Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called Washington’s announcement that it is willing to help in flood disaster, “fake news”.
Zairf tweetd on April 2 that based on comments by the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), “Iranian Red Crescent can’t receive any funds due to illegal US sanctions. US should own up to RCONOMIC TERRORISM”.
In his tweet Zarif calls the remark attributed to ICRC president Peter Maurer as the "REAL NEWS", but Maurer has not publicly spoken about U.S. sanctions and floods in Iran.
Iran's official news outlet IRNA published a dispatch from New York saying that Maurer made his remarks at the UN Security Council in New York on April 1. But a review of Maurer's remarks show that he spoke about the need for the international community to protect humanitarian action in conflict areas and had nothing to do with Iran or floods.
Meanwhile, all Iranian media outlets are repeating the claim that he has publicly said U.S. sanctions impede the work of ICRC.
Zarif had made the same charge of “economic terrorism” in a previous tweet April 1, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later on April 2 issued a statement blaming the Iranian authorities for “mismanagement” for the large extent of the flood disaster.
"The United States stands ready to assist and contribute to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which would then direct the money through the Iranian Red Crescent for relief," Pompeo added.
Zarif's latest tweet was an quick response to Pompeo's statement.
These exchanges show that Iran is simply raising the issue of U.S. sanctions as the flood disaster is an international headline, while Pompeo is offering direct disaster relief aid, as flood destruction enters its third week.