Record Rainfall in Iran Kills 70, Iranian Government Accuses U.S. of Hindering Aid

Jack Breton, Staff Writer

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Flooding due to record rainfall killed 70 people in Iran last month, according to state-run media.

Since March 19th, rainfall across the country of Iran has flooded nearly 1,900 cities and villages. According to the Mehr News agency, “Over 140 rivers have burst their banks and some 409 landslides have been reported”. The news agency also added that 78 roads had been blocked and 84 bridges had been affected.

The flooding has been reported in several provinces, with deaths being reported in 13. The highest deaths are in the provinces of Fars, Lorestan, Golestan, and Hamedan, according to state-run media.  Government officials have warned residents in the province of Khuzestan to heed evacuation notices as recent as this Saturday.

The flooding has been reported to have caused at least millions of dollars in damage to agriculture

A spokesperson from the Iranian Red Crescent Federation has stated that “volunteers and staff have evacuated hundreds of people to safety and have distributed food and items … to tens of thousands of people”.

Meanwhile, the Iranian government has accused the United States of America of hindering aid to the country during its time of need. The Speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani stated Saturday that Iran has not received “even a dollar” from the Red Cross due to US sanctions and measures against Iran.

Current sanctions had been placed on the country by the current administration due to a failing relationship with the Iranian government.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement responding to these accusations by the Iranian Government. Pompeo offered condolences to the victims of the flooding in Iran. He also claimed that the effects of the flooding in Iran shows the “level of Iranian regime mismanagement in urban planning and emergency preparedness” and stated that the government should not blame others for their own mismanagement of disasters.

Two days later, the Iranian Foreign Minister responded to Pompeo on Twitter saying that Pompeo is “unaware of the mismanagement of natural disasters in the US over the past two years”, and stated that the floods were unprecedented but were adequately responded to with the resources had.

Many villages and towns in Southern Iran remain evacuated as officials issue more warnings of flooding in several regions. The Chazabeh border crossing between Iraq and Iran has been closed until flooding recedes.