Iran FM: US Sanctions Are Impeding Flood Relief

Says US policy amounts to 'economic terrorism'

Weeks of heavy rain have caused flooding in 23 of Iran’s 31 provinces, and have tested the ability of NGOs like the Iranian Red Crescent to ferry aid workers around the country, and get to areas only reachable by helicopter.

In most cases, a nation would be able to turn to its neighbors, or the UN, for help in such an overwhelming situation. US sanctions, however, have made even emergency aid deliveries next to impossible to pull off.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs initially offered some help with helicopters, but ultimately appears to have backed away, citing “challenges” caused by the perception that such aid would violate US sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was deeply critical of the US sanctions being so hostile to even humanitarian services, saying that the US had crossed the line from economic warfare to “economic terrorism.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.