Axis of evil country, Iran, offers help
SMH | September 4, 2005
Iran said on Sunday that it was ready to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the United States through the Red Crescent.
"We are ready to help through the Red Crescent whenever we receive an official request (from the United States)," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told reporters in Tehran.
Assefi said Iran deeply regretted the death of many Americans and the material damages inflicted on the residents as a result of the hurricane.
The spokesman stressed that there was no political motivation behind the possible aid and rejected reports of "hurricane diplomacy".
Washington and Teheran have had no diplomatic relations for 26 years and, besides Israel, the US is regarded as the main political foe of Iran.
Meanwhile, Indonesia, the country hardest hit by last year's devastating tsunami, has offered to send 200 paramedics and 10,000 blankets to victims of Hurricane Katrina, officials said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed condolences to the US government and Katrina's victims, and asked officials to do whatever they could to help, said Adi, an aide to Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Alwi Shihab.
The paramedical team, which will include 45 doctors, and supplies will be sent to New Orleans "very soon," said Adi, who goes by only one name, adding that final preparations were now under way.
Pope Benedict has asked the Vatican's central charity organisation, Cor Unum, to coordinate Roman Catholic aid for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"We have all been pained in the last few days by the disaster caused by the hurricane in the United States of America, particularly in New Orleans," Benedict said during his Sunday address.