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Iran

Iranian Lawmakers Slam Earthquake-Relief Efforts

More Than 300 Dead In Iran Quakei
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August 13, 2012
Iran has raised the death toll from the August 11 earthquakes to 306, and it's reporting more than 3,000 were injured. The Red Crescent has erected tent camps and is distributing food and water to those left homeless. (AP video)

WATCH: Iran has raised the death toll from the August 11 earthquakes to 306, and it's reporting more than 3,000 were injured. The Red Crescent has erected tent camps and is distributing food and water to those left homeless. (AP video)

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By RFE/RL's Radio Farda
Iranian parliament members from regions hit by the twin earthquakes on August 11 have harshly criticized the authorities' relief efforts.

More than 300 people died in the two earthquakes, which struck an area in north Iran near Tabriz.

Deputies from the East and West Azerbaijan provinces said local officials arrived in the earthquake-hit areas too late.

Allahverdi Dehghan, a representative of Varzeghan, one of the affected townships, questioned the way the crisis was handled in his town.

"In Varzeghan we faced weak disaster management in a way that it took local officials three hours to show up," Dehghan said, adding that the lack of disaster management was a reason for the high death toll.

According to the Mehr news agency, Dehghan estimated that the quake caused 500 billion tomans (around $350 million) in damages and asked the president to form a special working group for reconstruction.

The lawmakers claimed that not all of the 8,000 tents sent by the Red Cross to the affected areas have reached the 16,000 people left homeless.

"This is very improper that some profiteer traitors receive the tents but later the tents appear somewhere else," Masud Pezeshkian, who represents Tabriz, the capital of East Azerbaijan Province, was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying.

Pezeshkian also strongly criticized Iranian state television, which he accused of indifference toward the disaster.

Lawmakers also criticized state-run media for its alleged failure to give timely coverage to the situation.

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani asked officials dealing with relief efforts to address the shortcomings.

He also called on state television to take the criticism seriously and understand the plight of the victims.
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by: Jack from: US
August 13, 2012 17:18
Instead of criticizing their own government, they should blame HAARP for releasing climate warfare on them, all planned and paid for by the US, the world's leading sponsor of terrorism.

by: RD
August 13, 2012 20:02
It is unfortunate that the old adage "when it rains it pours" is true. Iran is hit with crippling sanctions and now an earthquake. If the U.S. and the West want to place harsh sanctions on Iran for trying to build nuclear weapons, maybe they should place harsher measures on Israel and themselves who already have nuclear weapons. I do not want to hear the explanation that Israel can have nuclear weapons because it is a responsible state and can be trusted with them. If that is the case, we should review what Israel has been doing to its Palestinian population.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
August 13, 2012 20:33
Madam, I agree with you 100% and I want to be the father of your children.
In Response

by: Demetrius Minneapolis from: My House
August 13, 2012 23:40
What have the Israelis been doing to the Palestinian people? Giving healthcare to those in the Bank and Gaza as Qassam or Katyusha rockets are fired into Israel?
The Palestinians should be living in Jordan, that was the intended Palestinian "homeland" so take up your occupation garbage with the Hashemites.
And on that subject, how many of you westerners who berate Israel for "occupying" land that is not theirs, but conveniently forget about Turkey's occupation in Cyprus?

You people couldn't care less about the Palestinian cause, just as the Egyptians, Saudis, Lebanese, Jordanians, etc, etc don't. They just use it for population control.

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