Accessibility links

Breaking News

Zarif Calls U.S. Sanctions 'Economic Terrorism', Impeding Flood Relief

President Hassan Rouhani's first trip to a flood-stricken region was more than a week after disaster hit northern Iran. Photo from Golestan province, Iran, 27 March 2019

After two weeks of heavy rains and unprecedented flood destruction in Iran, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says U.S. sanctions impede humanitarian aid to victims.

In a tweet on April 1 Zarif condemns @realDonaldTrump’s “maximum pressure” as a factor impeding “aid efforts by #IranianRedCrescent to all communities devastated by unprecedented floods”.

Zarif does not explain how exactly U.S. sanctions reimposed in 2018 has a direct bearing on Iranian domestic relief efforts.

Hours before Zarif’s tweet Radio Farda published an article discussing why the international community seems to be indifferent towards the flood disaster in Iran.

Virtually no international assistance has been sent, at the same time when the Iranian government seems to have been unprepared for a large-scale disaster.

In the first few days of the floods, many conservative politicians and others in Iran criticized President Hassan Rouhani’s absence from the scene, as he was said to be vacationing in the south of the country.

In his tweet, Zarif says U.S. policy “isn’t just economic warfare, it’s economic TERRORISM”.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said in a statement that it was ready to offer help to Iran, but “challenges caused by unilateral sanctions will affect the UN response and the accountability of UN to deliver the appropriate support.”

At the same time, Iran is diplomatically isolated mainly because of its policies and long-lasting confrontation with the West.