Part of the story concerning earthquakes is not only why and where they happen, but also the follow-up recovery efforts.
U.S. Sanctions Hinder Relief Efforts for Iran’s Earthquake Survivors
With major faults covering some 90 percent of the country, Iran often experiences earthquakes. The 7.3 magnitude earthquake last Sunday on Iran’s border with Iraq was the deadliest in the world this year to date. At least 530 lives were lost, 7,460 people injured, 12,000 homes were destroyed, and 15,000 more were damaged. The Kermanshah province was the area hardest hit, but cities as far away as Tehran and Baghdad felt the tremors.
Around the world, the Iranian diaspora and many others also felt the shaking, and some of them were compelled to respond to the emergency. Kianoush Rostami, the Iranian Rio 2016 Olympic weightlifter, put his gold medal up for auction via Instagram to raise money for the victims.
Al Jazeera’s Ted Regencia shares stories about good intentions hitting frustrating barriers. Members of the Facebook group Persian Americans (65,827 followers) gave $80,000 within the first few hours of their Facebook-based appeal, and by Wednesday, the sum exceeded $200,000. Facebook initially informed the group’s leader that the funds would be held until the US Department of Treasury authorized disbursement. On Thursday, Facebook dismantled the group’s fundraising page, informing the leader “personal fundraisers are not eligible to receive funds for nonprofits.”
An Iranian-American journalist used the YouCaring crowdfunding site to raise support for the earthquake survivors. YouCaring removed her page after she raised $2,000 in the first 30 minutes “because the country you provided is part of an embargoed region.”
“The United States Treasury Department does not allow our platform to disburse funds directly to, or be routed by proxy to a state or person that is currently located in an embargoed region,” the letter read.
I know some conservatives might respond that it is the Iranian government that brought about this situation though conduct that prompted the sanctions. Yet, it is the residents of such countries that must suffer form this governmental nonsense.
Or does that sound too much like I am being an anarchist?
Tasnim News Agency
[CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons