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Rouhani Says U.S. Should Suspend Sanctions Because Of Floods

Iranian President Hassan Rohani attends a cabinet meeting in the capital Tehran, April 17, 2019

Washington should have suspended its sanctions against Tehran for one year because of the flood disaster, the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani bemoaned on Wednesday, April 17.

Although Tehran has repeatedly insisted that it could single-handedly tackle the dire consequences of the recent devastating floods in Iran, Rouhani lamented, "The heads of the U.S. regime showed their true nature. If they were wise, they would have announced that they suspend sanctions because of the floods. Then Iranians may have believed that they were not against the people."

The recent floods in north and south of Iran that started on March 19 have so far left at least 76 people dead, and nearly 400 trillion rials (approximately $9.5 billion) of damages.

Meanwhile, despite continuous denials by the U.S., Tehran still insists that Washington has blocked foreign aid reaching Iran.

Speaking at a cabinet session, Rouhani repeated the accusation, asserting, "Washington has always claimed that it is on very good terms with the people of Iran, (and) it is the Iranian government that it has a problem with, but by blocking aid to the Red Crescent, they showed otherwise."

Rouhani went further by insisting the heads of the “American regime” have revealed their "true vicious and inhumane nature," by not suspending the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.

Iranian authorities claim that the U.S. has blocked the bank accounts of the country's Red Crescent Society (IRC) and preventing foreign aids reaching Iran.

However, earlier on April 2, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had countered suggestions that Washington's sanctions are hurting relief efforts amid deadly flooding in Iran, accusing Iranian authorities of mismanaging the current crisis.

"The regime blames outside entities when, in fact, it is their mismanagement that has led to this disaster," Pompeo said.

Moreover, in an interview with Radio Farda, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) denied remarks attributed to its president by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, about U.S. sanctions impeding flood relief assistance.