10:32 GMT +316 June 2019
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    Damaged vehicles are seen after a flash flooding in Shiraz, Iran, March 26, 2019

    'Economic TERRORISM': Iran Blasts US Over Blocked Aid Amid Unprecedented Floods

    © REUTERS / Tasnim News Agency
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    Iran has been battling its worst flooding in decades, with heavy rain and flash floods killing over 40 people and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to infrastructure and agriculture, destroying up to 25,000 homes.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lashed out at the Trump administration's vow to bring "maximum pressure" to bear against his country, tweeting that the move led to the "flouting" of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 on the Iranian nuclear agreement and hindered the provision of aid to communities suffering from flooding.

    US policy has only led to "impeding aid efforts by #IranianRedCrescent to all communities devastated by unprecedented floods" facing Iran, Zarif wrote. "Blocked equipment includes relief choppers: This isn't just economic warfare; it's economic TERRORISM," the foreign minister added.

    Zarif's remarks come on the heels of new emergency alerts and travel advisories by Iranian authorities, with flooding said to have affected at least 23 of Iran's 31 provinces, according to a report by the Iranian Red Crescent Society.

    On Monday, a senior White House official said that the US was considering applying additional sanctions against Iran in time for the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

    Zarif's sentiments were echoed by other social media users, who suggested US behaviour amid the flooding was "shameful."

    Others attacked Trump on Twitter after the president tweeted that his administration has "succeeded in dramatically raising the costs to Iran for its sinister behaviour," with one user saying only a "morally weak" person could "celebrate that life is made more difficult for over 80 million people due to illegal and politically motivated sanctions."

    Iran-US relations have been poor for decades, with the two powers having no formal diplomatic ties since shortly after the 1979 Iranian Revolution which toppled the pro-US Shah regime. Relations improved somewhat after Iran, the US, Russia, China and several European states signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal in 2015, which provided Tehran with sanctions relief in exchange for a halt to its nuclear weapons program.

    Relations collapsed to new lows in May 2018, however, after President Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the nuclear deal and slapped Iran with several rounds of increasingly severe sanctions.

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    Tags:
    relief, Flood, economic warfare, flooding, sanctions, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Donald Trump, Iran, United States
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