Pompeo Denies US Sanctions Are Blocking Iran Flood Relief

Says Iran is to blame for 'this disaster'

Two weeks of heavy rain has led to mass flooding in Iran, and humanitarian aid from abroad has been severely limited. According to Iranian FM Javad Zarif, and some other officials, that aid is being slowed by US sanctions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims that is just the Iran regime “blaming outside entities” when he believes that Iran is fully to blame “for this disaster.” In theory, US sanctions aren’t supposed to limit humanitarian aid.

In practice, however, US sanctions have routinely limited humanitarian aid, and even if Pompeo dismisses Zarif as a liar, he’s also going to have to explain how many other nations, including France and Britain, were openly offering assistance before concerns about the sanctions were risen, and then all such offers started to dry up.

Iran has flooding in 26 of its 31 provinces, and has roughly 20 rescue helicopters. Getting more helicopters into the country is the most immediate priority, and one that US sanctions have made all but impossible, even with nations, NGOs, and international bodies all having helicopters that they are willing to offer.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.