Iran offers aid to post-Sandy New York

Can storms supersede sanctions?

Image via IRC

Mahmud Mozaffar, the head of Relief and Rescue Organization for Iran's Red Crescent Society, announced Wednesday an offer to send rescuers to New York to aid in storm recovery. The Red Crescent Society is Iran's biggest relief organization and says they are prepared to send manpower immediately to help relief efforts. All they need is the OK from the American government.

“If American authorities agree, we can send our rescuers with equipment and tools to American cities in the shortest period of time,” Mozaffar said, offering aid workers with experience in natural disaster mitigation.

This offer comes at a time when relations between the two countries are strained politically, with Iran's nuclear program playing a central role in recent discussions on American foreign policy. Over the past several years, the U.S. has imposed increasingly tough sanctions on the country. But as the New York Times reports, there are some instances in which storms supersede sanctions and in the past the U.S. has sent aid to help Iranians with relief efforts after earthquakes. In August, Iran refused a U.S. rescue plane but accepted other forms of charitable aid.

[via NYT]

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