Saudi Arabia and UAE make biggest donations to flood-hit Iran
The Saudi Press Agency has reported that both the Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have made donations 95 tonnes of aid in the flood-affected regions of their rival nation Iran. The aid primarily included the food and other material for shelters. It has been delivered by the Saudi Red Crescent after the approval of King Salman and also the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Even the Emirates Red Crescent took part in the relief operation. There have been no official comments by Iran over the aid. 76 people have lost their lives in the torrential rainfall which had started on March 19. The rain has left a large part of the country submerged in water and has caused damage worth $2.5 billion.
Iran has stated that the crippling US sanctions which have been re-imposed by the US under the Trump Presidency after he withdrew from the much-noted nuclear deal which had been signed between the world powers and Iran in 2015 have hampered the relief efforts.
Iranian President has blamed the US for unleashing economic terrorism on the country as the sanctions make it impossible for Iran to get financial donations from other countries. He said that the US should suspend its sanctions for a year at least mainly due to floods which have limited the avenues of financial donations which can be got from other countries. Rouhani had said in a statement that, “the heads of the American regime have revealed their true vicious and inhuman nature”.
Even the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has stated that the US has unleashed economic terrorism on the country by way of sanctions. Despite the latter Iran has been able to receive aid from many countries like Pakistan, Kuwait, Germany, Japan and France.
The initiative taken by Saudi Arabia and UAE has come despite the long-standing rivalry between the nations. The core of the rivalry lies in the geostrategic interests and other religious differences. The countries have always been on the opposing sides for decades in all the conflicts in the region. It was in 2016 when Saudi Arabia had suspended the diplomatic relations with Iran protesting the torching of its diplomatic missions in Tehran by angry Iranians over the execution of a leading Shia scholar.