News / Middle East

Iran Welcomes Foreign Earthquake Aid

Rescue teams search for victims in the earthquake-stricken village of Varzaqan near Ahar, in East Azerbaijan province, August 12, 2012.
Rescue teams search for victims in the earthquake-stricken village of Varzaqan near Ahar, in East Azerbaijan province, August 12, 2012.
VOA News
Iran said it is now prepared to accept foreign aid for the victims of Saturday's two earthquakes in the nation's northwest.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency quoted Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying Iran is ready to receive contributions from other countries.

Iran earlier rejected offers of outside help from the United States, Germany, Russia, Turkey and other nations. Iran's Red Crescent had said the country did not need foreign assistance and could handle the disaster itself.

On Tuesday, rescue workers recovered more bodies from the ruins of the 6.4 and 6.3 magnitude quakes that killed more than 300 people and injured at least 3,000 others.

Villages of Tabriz and Ahar, Iran impacted by recent earthquake
​ ​A 5.3 aftershock hit one of the epicenters near the city of Tabriz Tuesday, causing some panic among the residents. Officials did not report any casualties.

The Iranian Red Crescent estimates that 180 villages were damaged in the quakes, with some destroyed near Tabriz.

A spokeswoman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies told VOA from Geneva that the group is working closely with Iran's Red Crescent and that they have set up 6,000 tents to accommodate an estimated 16,000 people who are displaced. They are also providing basic supplies and blood donations for the victims.

Earthquakes are common in Iran, but few are significant enough to be noticed. The last major earthquake in Iran was a magnitude 6.6 quake in 2003 in the southeastern city of Bam, where 30,000 people died.

Photo Gallery: Iran Earthquake

  • A man looks at damaged houses in the earthquake-stricken village of Varzaqan near Ahar, in East Azerbaijan province, August 12, 2012.
  • Rescue teams search for victims in Varzaqan near Ahar. Iran's government faced criticism from lawmakers and the public on its handling of relief efforts, August 12, 2012.
  • Earthquake victims mourn in the village of Varzaqan, August 12, 2012.
  • Rescue teams search for victims in the village of Varzaqan near Ahar, August 12, 2012.
  • A general view shows the destruction in Ishikhli village, near the town of Varzaqan after twin earthquakes hit northwestern Iran, August 12, 2012.
  • A doorway near collapsed rubble in northwest Iran, August 12, 2012.
  • Earthquake victims stand near damaged houses in northwest Iran, August 12, 2012.
  • A damaged building in northwest Iran, August 12, 2012.
  • A house in ruins in Varzaqan after the earthquake hit, August 11, 2012.
  • Rescue teams search for victims in Varzaqan, August 11, 2012.
  • Rescue teams search for victims in Varzaqan, August 11, 2012.

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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
August 16, 2012 1:28 PM
I think the Americans should of offered a hand, and not money....So that the Iranian leaders could reject help in front of their very own people.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 14, 2012 12:31 PM
Maybe Iran deserves pity rather than castigation at this point in time. But using only Iran's Red Crescent is a sign that Iran may not use the aid supplied for the purpose of the donors' intention. Let people come into Iran and see things for themselves. Maybe they can also learn one or two things about the country that will tell its tales outside the country. This recent happening also maybe a sign that Israel needs not worry about Iran's nuclear arms threat, as God Himself will sort things out there in due course. The God who made the sun stand still in the days of old until Israel had earned victory remains God over Israel even to date. Could the rabbis go back to history and see if God made a promise to save Israel. If they find any such promise, to be still and know that He is God. After all the scriptures say it's a terrible thing to fall into the hand of the almighty God. Iran is going on head-on collision with God. What a pity!
In Response

by: whichgod? from: russia
August 14, 2012 2:57 PM
God ???

by: Marcel Duma from: France
August 14, 2012 9:23 AM
is this the Islamic "paradise" of Iran...??? these fools still live in caves and mud huts!!! are these the idiots who chant "death to America - death to Israel..." all the time??? hey, Iran, Islam is meant for the Arabs - I thought you despise Arabs... so why do you let Islam rule you..?? look at the destitution and poverty Islam has reduced you to... you used to be a great nation until Islam has made you hate Israel... what a shame!!!!!!!
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 15, 2012 9:08 PM
Duma you sound grumpy. Must have a bad case of vermacularis or something. Drop the hostility. Your constant attack on every Iran-related article is getting tired and it makes you look like you have some sort of envy complex.
In Response

by: Esma from: United States
August 14, 2012 5:27 PM
Islam is not meant for the Arabs. Islam is meant as a mercy to mankind. "An Arab is not superior to a non-Arab, nor is a white man superior to a black man".
In Response

by: mehrdad from: canada
August 14, 2012 12:01 PM
You are absolutely right.
In Response

by: mahsa from: sojoudian
August 14, 2012 12:00 PM
nobody said iran was a paradise watch your language and hate speech

by: Samrica Roy from: UK
August 14, 2012 9:07 AM
here we have a "nation" - Iran - whose nuclear facilities are leaking radioactive pollution into the aqua fare fresh water reservoir poisoning its population with brutality that only the Arabs could be capable of doing to their population... Now we learn that Iran is the world leading nation infected by "rare" cancers... according to the UN World Health Organization - someone here said that it could be "divine retribution" for the Islamic nation hatred for Israel... as a student of history... I tend to agree

by: ys khan from: london
August 14, 2012 6:33 AM
very much shocked and suggest all global brothers and sisters to help them immediately for relief
In Response

by: John Marston
August 15, 2012 9:05 PM
Hey "neil", your country is a parasite leeching off of America. I believe in the doctrine of Thomas Jefferson "Commerce with all, alliances with none". Isolationism is best for the States. Notwithstanding, America won the Cold War by winning hearts and minds. The UK is a no-name moocher today because it believed in "divide and conquer". Smarten up.
In Response

by: Neil Furguson from: UK
August 14, 2012 10:40 PM
Hey "john" let me be the first to offer my heart felt sympathy for your deplorable condition... but you do sound like an Iranian imposter... you must admit that... you see the US UK and Israel are one indivisible united force... take that under advisement... and Iranian imposters like you add another layer of shame to a discredited country and a shameful religion. another thing that you can not deny is that your Islamic countrymen "the Global Brothers and Sisters" referred to by the prime idiot above, are busy trying to blow up innocent kids (Israelis, American Australian and British) on their vacations all over the world... one would hope that silent shame would compel you to shut your mouth but now that the whole world knows what a degenerate you and your religion are... your response is just expected - and reviled...
In Response

by: John Marston
August 14, 2012 2:22 PM
Great way of making friends Hornblower by calling others "fool" for stating their opinions. Repressive, primitive mind-sets like yours and that of your country (i.e. the UK) are the reason my country, the USA, overthrew the European tyrants who tried to repress us.
If you don't agree with someone's opinion, speak like a man, don't bark like a rapid dog you savage.
In Response

by: Hornblower from: UK
August 14, 2012 9:34 AM
hey fool, the "Global Brothers and Sisters" are busy trying to blow up Israeli teenage tourists on vacation... "relief" for Iran can only come from the overthrow of this Islamic pestilence that has enslaved a once great nation.

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