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Iran Finishes Earthquake Rescue and Focuses on Survivors


Iranian authorities say that rescue operations have ended and attention has shifted to the survivors of Friday's earthquake that killed more than 70 people and injured another 1,200.

They say by late Saturday tents will have been distributed to all of the thousands left homeless by the quake in Iran's western Lorestan province.

A United Nations team is heading to Iran to provide aid and organize international assistance. The team includes experts from the World Health Organization and U.N. Children's Fund. Iran has not publicly responded to a U.S. offer of blankets, water kits and temporary shelter for up to 100,000 people.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns relayed the offer Friday to Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Javad Zarif.

U.S. offer comes despite differences with Iran's Islamic government on its nuclear program.

President Bush has expressed his condolences for the loss of life and suffering caused by the earthquake. Mr. Bush said the United States stands ready to assist the Iranian people. He said, however, Tehran's desire to obtain nuclear weapons poses a threat to the entire planet.

Three strong quakes and several aftershocks hit near the industrial cities of Doroud and Boroujerd. The strongest of the earthquakes, with a 6.1 magnitude, struck just before dawn Friday.

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