Red crescent asks Iran to account for quake aid
TEHRAN (Reuters) - The head of Iran's Red Crescent Society demanded the foreign and finance ministries account for $10 million worth of foreign aid sent to help victims of December's Bam earthquake, newspapers reported on Tuesday.
Pledges of foreign aid poured into Iran after the December 26 quake which measured 6.8 on the Richter scale and killed more than 40,000 people in and around the ancient citadel city of Bam in southeastern Iran.
Iran's Red Crescent Society head Ahmad-Ali Nourbala told state-run Iran newspaper that existing documents showed foreign organisations had provided more than $11.8 million in aid, but said the Red Crescent has only received $1.9 million.
"Their failure to give a clear answer would lead to national distrust and international disgrace," Nourbala was quoted as saying in reformist newspaper Hambastegi.
"The Red Crescent will not be able to continue providing aid relief to Bam survivors if this trend continues," he said.
The officials from the two ministries were not immediately available for comment.
Nearly $500 million in relief assistance has been pledged to Iran from dozens of organisations and countries, including some that have strained relations with the Islamic Republic.
Arch-foe Washington, which broke ties with Tehran shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution, was at the forefront of the relief effort, sending an 84-strong team and planeloads of blankets, sheeting, medical supplies and water.
Nourbala said the Iranian government had failed to fulfil pledges to provide the quake survivors with 100 billion rials ($11.9 million) and the Red Crescent with 60 billion rials ($7.1 million).
Several people were arrested during clashes in Bam with police last week when hundreds gathered to protest at the failure to resolve their post-quake problems. http://www.reuters.com/locales/newsArticle.jsp?type=businessNews&locale=en_IN&storyID=4530667
posted on 03/09/2004 11:27:39 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
To: DoctorZIn; All
Iran clashes with US over nuclear policy
Staff and agencies
Wednesday March 10, 2004
Iran reignited its war of words with the US today, accusing Washington of trying to "bully" the UN's nuclear watchdog into taking a tougher stance on Tehran's nuclear programme.
Pirouz Hosseini, Iran's chief delegate to the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), described the US approach to the agency's 35-nation governing board as an "act of bullying".
His comments came as the board prepared to discuss a draft resolution on Iran's nuclear programme.
The US had wanted the meeting to condemn Iran for not fulfilling pledges to reveal all past and present nuclear activities.
But the key European states wanted to focus on Iranian cooperation with the IAEA, which began only after last year's discovery that Tehran had plans to enrich uranium and had secretly conducted other tests with possible weapons applications over nearly two decades.
When the issue first came before the authority's board, the US sought to report Tehran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions, arguing Iran had violated the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
However, the US mustered little support and there was no mention of sanctions in the resolution being discussed today.
However, the draft text noted "with the most serious concern" that past declarations by Iran "did not amount to the correct, complete and final picture of Iran's past and present nuclear programme".
It criticised Iran for "failing to resolve all questions" about uranium enrichment, saying it "deplores" this lapse.
The draft resolution also praised Iran for signing an agreement to throw open its nuclear programme to full and pervasive IAEA perusal and for Iran's cooperation with agency investigations.
Meanwhile, in a move that is sure to anger Washington further, the Iranian foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, said today that Iran would resume uranium enrichment once its relations with the IAEA returned to normal.
Mr Kharrazi said: "It's our legitimate right to enrich uranium. We suspended uranium enrichment voluntarily and temporarily. We will definitely resume enrichment."
He also warned Iran's key European partners - Britain, France and Germany - that they should "resist US pressures if they want the project of cooperation between Iran and them to lead to results".
Iran's undeclared enrichment of uranium was one of the reasons behind an IAEA investigation into the country's nuclear programme.
The US insists such programmes - conducted clandestinely until their discovery last year along with plutonium processing and other undeclared tests - point to a nuclear weapons agenda.
Iran has insisted it is interested in enriching uranium for peaceful uses, such as generating power. http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1166396,00.html
posted on 03/10/2004 6:39:40 AM PST
by F14 Pilot
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