Iranian diplomat laments obstacles to aid to quake-affected Afghans

In comments Thursday, Hassan Mortazavi expressed deep sympathy to the Afghan nation and the families of the earthquake victims, stressing the need to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the affected areas.

Deploring the sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western governments on Afghanistan, the Iranian deputy ambassador said: “The international community must realize the depth of the human crisis in Afghanistan in the current circumstances and open the way to channel global aid to the affected Afghan people and avoid obstructionism by abandoning cruel levers against the oppressed Afghan nation.

On Wednesday, the Iranian Embassy in Kabul said Iran had dispatched two planes loaded with first aid supplies to Afghanistan after the earthquake.

The Taliban-led government of Afghanistan has called for more international aid as it struggles to deal with the devastating earthquake in a mountainous eastern region that has killed more than 1,000 people and injured at least 1,500 others.

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck in the early hours of Wednesday near the town of Khost near the Pakistani border.

Officials warn the death toll is likely to rise as many families were sleeping in flimsy accommodation when the quake struck.

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