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U.S. Offers Condolences, Aid Following Iran Quake

People collect their belongings from the rubble of their damaged house in the town of Shonbeh, southeast of Bushehr.
The White House has offered U.S. condolences to Iran over the earthquake that killed at least 37 people and injured some 850 others in southern Iran.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden also said in a written statement that Washington is ready to "help the Iranian people in this time of need."

The statement said the Obama administration is "deeply saddened by the loss of life and the destruction that's been caused by this disaster."

The 6.3-magnitude quake struck on April 9 close to Iran’s nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

Iranian authorities said the plant was not damaged and there had not been a release of radiation.

Ties between Washington and Tehran are tense over Iran’s nuclear program, which the U.S. suspects is aimed at developing a nuclear weapon.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP