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Iran Changes Its Mind About Foreign Aid After Deadly Earthquake



TEHRAN - In an apparent change of heart, Iran says foreign aid is now welcome following the twin earthquakes that hit the north western part of the country last weekend, reports ABC news.

On Monday, a Turkish rescue team had been sent back to Turkey, as Iran's Red Crescent initially said that the country did not need foreign assistance and could handle the disaster itself.

“Our country has in various occasions rushed to assist the victims of natural disaster victims in different countries, and now we are ready to receive the contributions of different countries to quake victims in Ahar, Varzaqan and Haris townships” said Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi in a press conference in Tabriz on Tuesday, reports Iranian state agency IRNA.

A number of countries have offered their condolences to Iran after the deadly earthquakes notes IRNA, including Turkey, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Pope Benedict XVI also voiced their sympathy. The Swiss government announced its readiness to provide humanitarian aid to the quake-stricken people, adds the Iranian news agency.

The first humanitarian supplies have already been dispatched by the Republic of Azerbaijan. The aid includes flour, rice, sugar, cooking oil and pasta, as well as blankets and tents, according to IRNA.

Yet the current financial sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran have raised worries among Iranian-Americans about where to send donations — and whether such aid is even legal, reports The New York Times.

A 6.2 earthquake on the Richter scale hit the city of Ahar at 4:53 p.m. on Saturday, and a 6 magnitude quake struck the city of Varzaqan only 11 minutes later -- followed by multiple aftershocks.

At least 306 people have been killed and over 3037 others injured, according to the ministry of health, reports Xinhua.

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The West Has An Answer To China's New Silk Road — With A Lift From The Gulf

The U.S. and Europe are seeking to rival China by launching a huge joint project. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States will also play a key role – because the battle for world domination is not being fought on China’s doorstep, but in the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden shaking hands during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Daniel-Dylan Böhmer


BERLIN — When world leaders are so keen to emphasize the importance of a project, we may well be skeptical. “This is a big deal, a really big deal,” declared U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month.

The "big deal" he's talking about is a new trade and infrastructure corridor planned to be built between India, the Middle East and Europe.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the project as a “beacon of cooperation, innovation and shared progress,” while President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called it a “green and digital bridge across continents and civilizations."

The corridor will consist of improved railway networks, shipping ports and submarine cables. It is not only India, the U.S. and Europe that are investing in it – they are also working together on the project with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia is planning to provide $20 billion in funding for the corridor, but aside from that, the sums involved are as yet unclear. The details will be hashed out over the next two months. But if the West and its allies truly want to compete with China's so-called New Silk Road, they will need a lot of money.

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