In a statement, the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) explicitly announced that no international cash aid has yet been handed over to the society due to the brutal sanctions imposed on the country by the US.
“Because of the sanctions, there is no financial channel to transfer cash money to the Iranian Red Crescent Society. All international banks in which we have foreign currency accounts are under the US sanction. Earlier, some international bodies and countries expressed their preparedness to contribute to aid operations by dispatching cash and non-cash aid to Iran but due to the US sanctions, all financial channels to receive the cash aid are blocked,” the statement by the IRCS read.
Following the devastating floods which began to hit Iran on March 19, some international bodies and charities expressed their sympathy with the Iranian people and said they’re ready to send cash and non-cash aid to the flood-hit country.
Over the past few weeks, there have been some contradictory reports on aid contributions to the Iranians struggling with floods. However, the contradiction comes because the media reports don’t distinguish between cash and non-cash aid. There is no impediment to receive non-cash aid convoys imported to Iran but the US sanctions have made it impossible to deliver any cash aid to the Islamic Republic.
The flow of cash aid to the flood-hit Iranians are hampered by the US bullying policies and this comes as the red cross centres, red crescent societies and charities are legally exempted from any restrictions due to the international law. Such organizations should be able to contribute to aid operations in crisis situations regardless of all political and international laws.
In its statement, the IRCS highlighted the fact that despite claims by the American officials, the US sanctions have not only impeded the flow of aid to the flood-hit Iranians but also disturbed the routines of the society by creating logistic problems for it.
For example, Iran is suffering from shortage of rescue helicopters due to the sanctions and the IRCS has only 24 helicopters to cope with the recent devastation. Unfortunately, the sanctions have also put Iran in trouble in preserving the helicopters.
Over the past week, at the request of a growing number of Iranians living abroad, a financial channel was established to attract cash aid for the flood-hit people but the channel was immediately blocked due the US sanctions. So, the only available way for the Iranian diaspora as well as other countries’ residents to contribute to cash aid to the flood-hit areas is a charity channel named Donit set up by Germany’s Red Cross.
Iranian and German relief bodies jointly collect and spend the cash contributions by developing new plans.