The United States is not responsible for the difficulties that Iran has encountered in responding to recent floods which have devastated parts of that country. So said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a 2 April statement.
Pompeo was responding to Iranian allegations that efforts are being impeded because the Iranian Red Crescent Society has been prevented from receiving international donations on account of US sanctions.
In his statement, Pompeo said: ‘These floods once again show the level of Iranian regime mismanagement in urban planning and in emergency preparedness. The regime blames outside entities when, in fact, it is their mismanagement that has led to this disaster. They even jail environmentalists for attempting to help Iran prepare for these very issues. The United States stands ready to assist and contribute to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which would then direct the money through the Iranian Red Crescent for relief.’
In a tweet, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Zarif wrote the sanctions, which he said had prevented purchase of much-needed equipment, were not ‘economic warfare [but] terrorism.’