Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiMonday, December 29, 2003
<b>US-Iran Teams Cooperate in Unloading US Aid, as Bam Buries 30,000 Earthquake Victims</b>
• Three C-130 cargo planes, each loaded with 28,000 pounds of medicine and medical supplies, as well as bottled water were delivered to Iran, <b>Colonel Vic Harris</b>, who has just returned to Kuwait from Iran, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. People received us warmly in Iran, he adds. (Leyli Sadr)
• More than 15,000 bodies have been buried by Sunday, interior minister said, adding that the death toll surpasses previous estimate of 25,000. (Shireen Famili)
• Diplomats and analysts see Washington's offer of help - and Tehran's willingness to accept it - as a test of how far each is prepared to go in publicizing a new softening of the antagonism that has marked their relationship for a quarter-century. “The Americans are starting to send in aid and it's a very positive step,” says one European diplomat reached in Tehran. “Whether the momentum of goodwill is sustained is a different question” – the <i>Christian Science Monitor</i> writes. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
• The airlift of the injured ended, as the number of rescued survivors dwindled, transportation minister Ahmad Khoram said. Security has been restored in Bam, police commander lieutenant-general Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf said. Organization and management improved on the third day of the rescue and relief work, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) Yahya Rahim-Safavi said. Iran's embassies have opened bank accounts to receive donations, foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi said. Meanwhile, former president Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani indirectly criticized the relief effort. “There is always some hurriedness and weakness in management, which I think are somewhat natural, but today their management has improved, they have divided themselves into six districts,” he said. “But I cannot criticize anyone; everyone has done what he could.” Rubble removal has not even begun in certain parts of Bam, according to the state-owned “students” news agency (ISNA). (Ardavan Niknam)
• Head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society Nour Bala, who is in Bam, complained about disorder and lack of management and security in the earthquake stricken areas, particularly in the first 48 hours. More than 80,000 blankets have already been distributed among the survivors, maybe not fairly. Three field hospitals have been set up by the Red Crescent, he said. (Ashkan Pazouki)
• In messages left on the <b>Radio Farda</b> earthquake hotline, listeners complained about slowness of the rescue and relief work, and disorder in the distribution of donated goods. The Islamic regime sends quick response forces to any part of the country to crackdown on people's protests, but cannot mobilize fast enough for such a disaster, a listener says. (Shireen Famili)
• The Islamic government rejected donations from former empress Farah Pahlavi and her son, former crown prince Reza Pahlavi, Ms. Pahlavi said in an interview on French TV. Meanwhile, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi said in Tehran she will handle donations of the Paris-based Pooya cultural center.(Mir-Ali Hosseini)
• Last night's rain slowed down rescue and relief work at the earthquake site, where the air is thick with stench of rotting bodies, waiting for their turn to be buried. The number of casualties may rise to 30,000, a Kerman provincial government official said today. (Siavash Ardalan)
• The government denied earlier reports about the crash of helicopter carrying relief workers. (Siavash Ardalan)
• Bands of young men with guns and rifles robbed the Red Crescent warehouse of blankets and tents, the Reuters reported in a dispatch from Bam. Bands of men on motorbikes follow military trucks to collect blankets that soldiers discard. Several jewel stores and bank, and trucks carrying relief supplies have been robbed. This is despite assurances given by the authorities on the first day that security forces control Bam and the roads around it. (Siavash Ardalan)
• Despite warnings by seismologists that Tehran may be facing a major earthquake, little has been done by officials to secure the city's buildings. An earthquake in Tehran would bring about one of the largest calamities in the history of mankind, Tehran governor warned on Saturday. A major earthquake in Tehran is not unthinkable, head of the city's crisis management and prevention center Maziyar Hosseini told Agence France Press. (Farin Asemi)
• Bandar Abbas hospitals force relatives of the injured to pay for their medication, a nurse who introduce herself as Zohreh told <b>Radio Farda</b>'s earthquake hotline. The patients are not being given proper food, she adds. She accuses the Islamic officials of embezzling or wasting the donated food and supplies, because little of what has been donated reaches Bam, she adds. In Bam people spent the night outdoors in the cold, and dug the rubble of their homes using their cars' beams for light, says Zohregh's brother, who is a relief volunteer in Bam told her. (Shireen Famili)
• Stockholm-based dentist Mohsen Memarzadeh, who had gone to Bam along with his family to visit his relatives, died in the earthquake. (Elaheh Ravanshad, Stockholm)
• Three hot days and cold nights after the earthquake, chances of finding survivors under the rubble have quickly diminished, rescue workers said, adding that more than 15,000 have been buried. More than 30,000 were injured in the earthquake. Meanwhile, more than 400 more foreign rescue workers arrived in Bam, with trained dogs and advanced equipment. Iranian and foreign rescue workers complain about the chaos. (Keyvan Hosseini)
• Seventy-two hours after the earthquake, the pace of rubble removal and rescue continues to be slow, Kermani journalist <b>Mohammad-Sadeq Taheri</b>, who visited Bam today, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. But the trained dogs have made the job of locating bodies easier. The Supreme Leader, who is due in Bam later today, is familiar with the city, because he spent years in Bam on court ordered exile under the Shah, Taheri adds. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• Most of the bodies being pulled out have swollen, raising concerns about spread of disease in the city, Karmani journalist <b>Ebrahim Nekisa</b>, who visited Bam today, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. People from villages around Bam, who have not been affected by the earthquake, have come to the city in order to receive some of the donated food and supplies, he adds. Unfortunately, a large part of the donated goods does not reach those in need, he says. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• Zahedan, which is close to Bam, has been receiving the injured in its hospitals and people have been very active donating food and supplies, editor of the Zahedan weekly <i>Marz-e Por-Gohar</i> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Without any government's involvement, people formed relief committees. More than 600 rescue and relief volunteers have been sent to Bam, along with more than 40 large and small earth moving machines, he adds. (Keyvan Hosseini)
• People have to wait on line between eight to ten hours in order to donate blood, a caller to <b>Radio Farda</b>'s hotline says. In the age of instant global communications, it took the state-run TV monopoly 10 hours to air the first videos of the Bam earthquake, another caller says. (Keyvan Hosseini)
• Injured survivors who have been transferred to Sirjan complained about the slowness of the rescue work, a Sirjan resident tells <b>Radio Farda</b> in an interview. (Jamshid Zand)
• Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi announced a bank account number to collect public donations for the earthquake survivors. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• Hundreds of Esfahani people, with 400,000 tents, 400 ambulances and medical supplies, canned food and bottled water, set out for Bam, a caller to <b>Radio Farda</b>'s earthquake hotline says. (Jamshid Zand)
• By organizing teams of relief volunteers who are on their way to Kerman and Yazd to be dispatched to Bam, the association of the Islamic student councils (Dafter-e Tahkim Vahdat) wants to show that it is not only a political organization, board member of the Yazd university Islamic student council <b>Seyyed-Amir Pakzad</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
• Bam was not just a tourist attraction, the city was a major provincial economic center and a major producer of citrus fruits and dates, Kermani journalist <b>Mohammad-Sadeq Taheri</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>.
• A reason for slow relief work and misdistribution of aid is the survivors own refusal to settle in temporary camp sites, a spokesman of the Red Crescent Society said yesterday. Now the pace has improved, because tents are being erected near people's homes, at their own request, he added. (Ashkan Pazouki, Tehran)
• A caller to <b>Radio Farda</b> earthquake hotline thanks the international community, especially the US, for the aid sent to Bam. (Jamshid Zand)
• Oslo-based <b>Ali Fakri</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that he has lost 500 relatives in the Bam earthquake. His story received a wide coverage in the Norwegian media. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
• Society of Iranian engineers in Belgium has set up a bank account to collect donations for the Bam survivors, spokesman <b>Mehrdad Majdi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>.
• More than 25,000 bodies have already been buried, according to official sources. The bodies that are still under the rubble can be the sources of a variety of diseases, warned Tehran-based physician <b>Dr. Qorai</b>. Disinfecting the area can help prevent an even greater disaster that rotting bodies can cause, not only in Bam but in the whole region, he adds. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
• Rescue workers are pulling out only dead bodies, because after three days no one has survived, a rescue worker who returned home after three days in Bam, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>'s earthquake hotline. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• In <b>Radio Farda</b> roundtable, journalists <b>Mohammad-Sadeq Taheri, Ebrahim Nekisa, Abbas Dabestani and Mansour Zeydabadi</b> who have visited Bam in the past three days, comment about the problem of management, and lack of coordination between various relief organizations. (Keyvan Hosseini)
• A child was found alive in the arms of his dead mother under the rubble of a two-story building. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• Japan sent a second team of doctors to Bam. (Ali Sajjadi)
• Vatican provided an undisclosed amount to the Catholic church in Iran. Meanwhile, the Italian Catholic church organization provided 2 million euros in emergency aid. The council of Middle East Catholic churches sent $100,000. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• The survivors' need for tents and blankets have been met. Many people have piled their belongings in pick up trucks and are leaving the city, but as a theft control measure, trucks carrying furniture out of the city need to apply for a special permit, Kermani journalist <b>Ebrahim Parham</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Masoud Malek)
• The center of Bam has been ruined almost 100 percent, Kermani journalist <b>Shahram Parsa Motlaq</b>, who visited Bam today, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Survivors complain about disorder and mismanagement in the distribution of supplies, he adds. (Masoud Malek)
• The earthquake was a divine test, the Supreme Leader said. Due to extend of the damage, whatever we do would not be enough, President Khatami said in his visit to Bam, which followed the Supreme Leader's. (Masoud Malek)
<b>Majles to Begin Review of Budget Bill</b>
• Majles began deliberations on the government's general budget bill for the fiscal year which begins on March 22, 2004. Like other oil producing governments, President Khatami's has enjoyed relative improvement in oil revenues, but as is evident in the budget bill, the Islamic government is not utilizing the extra cash for reforming the country's economic structure by reducing the government's dominant role. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
<b>Released European Hostages Arrive in Tehran</b>
• The three German and Italian tourists who were kidnapped last month near Bam arrived in Tehran after their release yesterday and were delivered by Iranian officials to their embassies. Hostages were released after the hard work of the Zahedan police, security and intelligence workers, Sistan-va-Baluchestan governor said, adding that the $6 million ransom demanded by the kidnappers was not paid. Kidnappers claimed to be related to the al-Qaeda, but their claim could not be verified, he added. (Keyvan Hosseini)
سياوش اردلان (راديو فردا): 45 هواپيماي حامل کمکهاي بين المللي از 21 کشور از جمله يک هواپيماي نظامي آمريکا در فرودگاه کرمان بر زمين نشست. به گفته ارتش آمريکا خلبانان اين کشور دوشادوش سربازان ايراني محوله هواپيماي آمريکايي را تخليه کردند. راديوفردا مصاحبه اي دارد با يکي از اعضاي ارتش آمريکا که خلباني هواپيما و سازماندهي تخليه کمکها را در فرودگاه کرمان بر عهده داشته است.
ليلي صدر(راديو فردا): سرهنگ ويک هريس از ارتش آمريکا که همراه با محموله کمکهاي اين کشور به ايران رفته بود، در بازگشت به کويت درباره کمکهاي فرستاده شده مي گويد:
سرهنگ ويک هريس: آنچه ما فراهم کرديم محموله سه فروند هواپيماي 330 و هر کدام نزديک به 28 هزار تن دارو براي کمک به ايرانيان بود. کمکهاي دارويي شامل باند، وسايل جراحي، وسايل شکسته بندي براي نيازهاي زخمي شدگان بود. در يک هواپيما آب فرستاديم. هواپيماها از کويت به کرمان رفتند و محموله ها را در کرمان با دست پياده کرديم.
ل. ص.: از سرهنگ هريس در مورد واکنش ايرانيان از ورود کمکهاي آمريکايي مي پرسم. او در جواب مي گويد:
سرهنگ ويک هريس: مردم بسيار خوشحال بودند و به گرمي پذيراي کمکها شدند. ما بسيار سرافرازيم که اين کمکها را عرضه کرديم.
ل. ص: مي پرسم آيا به بازديد ويرانه هاي شهر بم هم رفتيد؟ او مي گويد:
سرهنگ ويک هريس: ما به بازديد شهر بم نرفتيم. کار ما ارسال و ارائه محموله ها به مناطقي بود که مورد نياز بود.
ل. ص: از سرهنگ هريس در مورد نحوه سازماندهي کمکها مي پرسم و او در جواب مي گويد:
سرهنگ ويک هريس: بله سازمان يافته بود. سربازها و نفرات نيروي هوايي در پياده کردن محموله ها ما را ياري دادند و بسيار راضي بودند و آنها را با کاميونها به مقصد فرستادند.
ل. ص.: در مقايسه با کمکهاي آمريکا که در گذشته غيرمستقيم و از طريق صليب سرخ و سازمان ملل متحد صورت مي گرفت، اين بار آمريکا سريعا اقدام کرد و کمکها را مستقيم با هواپيماي نظامي خود به ايران فرستاد. يك سرهنگ ارتش آمريكا كه در جريان كمك رساني به آسيب ديدگان بم به اين شهر رفته بود واكنش ايرانيان را نسبت به اين اقدام آمريكا مثبت ارزيابي كرد. سرهنگ ويک هريس در مصاحبه با راديو فردا مي گويد: اين کمکها شامل محموله سه فروند هواپيماي C-130 حامل از جمله 28 هزار پوند دارو بود. وي در مورد واکنش ايرانيان نسبت به اين کمکها اظهار داشت که مردم بسيار خوشحال بودند و به گرمي پذيراي کمکها شدند. وي در ادامه از عرضه اين کمکها و از سازماندهي خوب عمليات پياده کردن محموله ها توسط سربازها و نفرات نيروي هوايي ابراز رضايت کرد. به گفته ارتش آمريکا خلبانان اين کشور دوشادوش سربازان ايراني محوله هواپيماي آمريکايي را تخليه کردند.