New earthquake hits Iran as Khatami denies Bam disaster caused by nuclear test

Published December 31st, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

A new earthquake, measuring 4,3 on the Richter scale, shook southwestern Iran on Wednesday morning, RIA Novosti reported. No damages or casualties have been reported.  


Meanwhile in the quake-hit city of Bam, the Iranian government upped the death toll to 30,000 with fears the final number could approach 50,000. The official in charge of burying Friday's quake victims, Mahmoud Rezaian, was quoted by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) as saying the number buried was now above 30,000.  


Meanwhile, the Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami on Tuesady brushed aside rumors that a nuclear test in Bam area was the trigger for the killer quake, saying "although these assertions have swirled around they are totally useless."  


"There is no place for nuclear weapons in our religious tents or defense and security doctrine," the Iranian president underlined. (

© 2003 Al Bawaba (

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