Rouhani: Floods in Iran proved ‘worst historic test’ for U.S.

April 17, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the recent devastating floods in Iran have proven the “worst historic test” for the Trump administration.

“The U.S. regime’s rulers have revealed their nature. If they were wise, they would announce suspension of sanctions because of the flood incident. In that case, the Iranian people may have believed that they [the U.S. officials] are not against them (people) when 25 provinces of the country were hit by flood,” Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting.

He said that the U.S. move in blocking aid to flood-stricken people in Iran proved the “inhuman” nature of officials in Washington.

Since March 19, large parts of Iran have been inundated with flash floods. So far, about 76 people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Almost all provinces have been affected by the flood.

The Trump administration has been blocking the accounts of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, actually impeding transfer of money to the Iranian flood victims.

‘Recent floods show the need for unity’

Rouhani also said that the recent floods and the U.S. behavior showed that it is necessary to maintain unity.

The president said joint efforts by the government and armed forces to help the flood victims “showed us that we should stand on our feet and join hands to solve problems and turn the problems into opportunity.” 

Elsewhere, he thanked Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s response to a letter about withdrawing money from the National Development Fund to compensate for damages caused by floods.

“The government will use budget resources to compensate for the damages as far as possible and will report to the Leader about that and will use (resources from) the National Development Fund to the extent that is needed,” the president explained.

Rouhani said the Leader had told him that withdrawing money from the National Development Fund for the purpose is necessary. “In a meeting with the Leader, he said that he believed money should be withdrawn from the fund in line with compensating for the damages.” 

In a letter published on Monday, the Leader asked the government to use the available financial resources to compensate for flood damages. The Leader suggested the administration can withdraw money from the National Development Fund only if it is absolutely necessary.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli has said that floods have left nearly $2.5 billion in damages.

Reportedly, flooding has damaged 110,000 houses in the provinces of Lorestan, Golestan and Mazandaran.  


NA/PA

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