Iranian Parliament Approves Aid for Drought-Hit Farmers

Published May 10th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Iranian parliament has approved an emergency aid package worth over $180m for farmers hit by the serious drought in central and eastern parts of the country, reported Wednesday.  

The announcement came as senior Shi'ite Muslim clerics in the holy city of Qom called on Iranians to pray for rain, the news service said.  

"The lack of rain and the threat of drought, a cause of great concern, is not without its links to sins that have been committed," a statement from the clerics said.  

A United Nations official has said that Iran is ready to accept foreign aid for only the second time in the history of the Islamic regime.  

The parliament also announced that state banks would delay loan repayments by farmers for two years.  

The official, UN co-ordinator Francesco Bastagli, was quoted as saying that Iran had not asked for help but said it might accept it to support its own relief efforts.  

Reports on Iranian television have described the drought as an unprecedented disaster and have shown footage from some of the worst affected regions, with dead camels lying on the roads.  

Officials say that Iran has suffered from drought in nearly half of the past 22 years –  




© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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