“The US move to block international humanitarian aid to those affected by flood is an unprecedented crime,” Rouhani said on Wednesday.
He made the remarks in a meeting with a number of ministers, heads of executive departments, officials and lawmakers on the occasion of Eid al-Mab’ath, the anniversary of the day the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was chosen as God’s messenger.
Rouhani called on the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the country’s legal bodies to pursue the issue through legal channels.
He said even Iranians living abroad were not able to send their aid to their fellow people due to Washington’s sanctions.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the past days from flash floods after severe rains swept through large parts of Iran.
Iran has announced a state of emergency in several provinces threatened by flooding and ordered tens of thousands to evacuate their homes.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that the US had frozen the accounts of the Iranian Red Crescent Society as part of its sanctions against the Iranian people, thus preventing other countries from sending humanitarian aid to people in Iran’s flood-stricken areas.
‘US blocking humanitarian aid to flood-hit Iranians’Iran says the US is blocking the dispatch of humanitarian aid to flood-hit people by freezing the accounts of the Iranian Red Crescent.
“Given that the accounts of the Iranian Red Crescent Society have been blocked [due to the US sanctions], no foreign citizen or Iranian national living abroad is able to send any relief aid to flood-hit people,” Qassemi told IRNA.
This measure exposes the American officials’ hostile approach towards the Iranian nation and counters all their “ridiculous” claims that the sanctions do not target the people of Iran, he added.
On Monday, Iran’s foreign minister said the US was waging “economic terrorism” against the Islamic Republic by employing restrictive measures that are troubling the relief efforts targeting flood-stricken people across the country.
Zarif: US waging ‘economic terrorism’ against IranIran’s foreign minister says the US is waging “economic terrorism” against the country by impeding the relief efforts targeting flood-stricken people.
In a tweet, Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US sanctions were “impeding aid efforts by Iranian Red Crescent to all communities devastated by unprecedented floods. Blocked equipment includes relief choppers.”
The US re-imposed the sanctions against Iran that had been lifted as part of a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers, weeks after Washington left the international agreement in May 2017.
Back in October 2018, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the US to halt the unilateral sanctions it had re-imposed on “humanitarian” supplies to Iran.
Washington has refused to relieve its bans.
Rouhani thanks relief workers, reaffirms compensation for flood-hit people
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani praised efforts by Iranian officials and relief workers to render assistance to the flood-hit people and pledged that his administration would stand by the people.
“What warms the cockles of our heart as we make efforts to deliver aid to [those affected by flood] and counter the massive flood crisis in the country’s provinces is the moral of people,” he said.
“The government will be serving those affected and hit by flooding with its full force and we well do our utmost to compensate for the damage caused,” he added.