US: Iran accepts offer of humanitarian aid for quake victims

Published June 26th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

The United States said Tuesday that Iran had accepted an offer of US humanitarian assistance for victims of this weekend's deadly quake. 


State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Washington had been formally notified that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami had requested the aid and that efforts were now underway to get the material to the quake-stricken area, according to AFP


"We have heard that officially from them and steps are under way to get that moving," he told reporters. 


"We'll have to work out with them how to make it go." 


Boucher would not describe how the Iranians had signaled their acceptance of the offer, but on Monday he said that Washington had made the offer through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which handles US interests in the Islamic republic. 


The specific items that Iran requested were not immediately known, however the US offer relayed through the Swiss included food, water purification equipment and temporary shelter material. 


The offer of assistance followed a message sent to the Iranian people by US President George W. Bush after Saturday's quake. "I extend my condolences and those of the American people to the families of the many victims in the cities and villages affected by this tragic event," Bush said, making a general offer of assistance. 


"Human suffering knows no political boundaries. We stand ready to assist the people of Iran as needed and as desired," he added. ( 

© 2002 Al Bawaba (

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