Daily Israel Report

Iranian Leaders to Victims: Better That You Die Than We Accept Israeli Help

Iran took time out from dealing with its tens of thousands of earthquake casualties to spew forth more hatred towards Israel - even at the expense of its own dead, wounded, orphans and homeless.
First Publish: 12/28/2003, 2:59 PM / Last Update: 12/28/2003, 4:27 PM

Iran took time out from dealing with its tens of thousands of earthquake casualties to spew forth more hatred towards Israel - even at the expense of its own dead, wounded, orphans and homeless. "The Islamic Republic of Iran," announced the country's official news agency IRNA, "welcomes all the humanitarian aid being offered by various countries and organizations - except for that from the Zionist entity."

Despite the above, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom issued a statement of condolences, saying, "The Government of Israel and the people of Israel feel the pain of the human tragedy being experienced by the Iranian people. Amidst all our differences, what is required at these moments is total mobilization by the international community to help the families of the dead and injured."

It should also be noted that during the height of recent Greek-Turkish hostilities, the two countries sent aid to each other when they both suffered earthquakes a month apart in 1999.

Private and public Israeli groups are attempting, despite the Iranian government's hostility, to help ease the enemy country's human suffering, via third parties or other unofficial channels. "This is not a political question," said Dr. Mike Naftali, Chairman of the Topaz Humanitarian Fund of the Israeli Kibbutz Movement. "Tens of thousands of children are suffering terribly, and it is incumbent upon us, as human beings, to help them."