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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 December, 2003, 13:42 GMT
Iran press lambasts quake efforts

Lack of preventive measures and the government's coordination of relief efforts following the Bam earthquake are receiving short shrift in the Iranian press.

One paper, however, hopes for a change of international attitude towards Iran as countries around the world, including the US and Israel, offer their assistance.


What the hell happened to crisis management, responsible governance, and all the talk about caring for those in most need?

Men, women and children dying in the thousands only because the state machinery was ill-prepared for natural disasters is mind-boggling, to say the least.

As for those who manage the affairs of 70m Iranians, they could do much better to be proactive than reactive.

Iran Daily (English-language web site)


If anyone told you that the quake victims of the past 10 or 20 years were still living in tents, you might not believe it. We are very good at lamenting and crying, but when it comes to planning, preventing and fortifying... we more or less do nothing but wait for the disaster to happen and then see what we can do.

We know how to spend billions of dollars on bread and petrol subsidies so no-one raises their voice. But we are not prepared to spend the same amount on a national plan for making buildings quake-proof.

Khorasan (conservative)


Those organisations or individuals issuing permits for buildings, factories producing sub-standard building materials and people or companies in the construction industry - don't any of them think that, one day, a building might collapse on their heads and the heads of their own children? They only think about how to turn one dollar into two.

It seems our experiences are only useful to other countries - they are the ones who learn from our mistakes.

Sharq (reformist)


How many times have we reminded the ruling establishment that the first structures to fall during a major earthquake would be those dealing with emergency management and relief, such as hospitals, police and fire stations?

Hospitals and other centres designated for disaster relief were among the first to collapse in yesterday's (26 December) tragic quake. The officials in charge are either deaf or simply don't care.

Iran News (English-language web site)


When hospitals and relief centres in the city have also been destroyed and their staff are among those killed, who is left to rush to the assistance of the injured and those under the rubble?

There is a need for serious and principled planning, and for these plans to be implemented throughout the country.

Kayhan (hardline, pro-Khamene'i)


The lack of preparations to receive voluntary assistance - many volunteers couldn't give their blood, for example - is another regrettable scene in this incident.

And the very sad lack of coordination has inflicted much damage on the people. Don't people have the right to be extremely worried if experience has shown that there is such a lack of coordination?

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist)


If Iran was newsworthy before the earthquake, it was because of accusations and allegations over nuclear and Al-Qaeda activities. The earthquake in Bam has greatly changed the atmosphere.

Israel's non-governmental organizations have asked for guidelines on assisting Iran... The White House has earmarked around $1m for Iran.

Not long ago, the atmosphere was one of trading allegations and hostile disputes. Now, in a complete about-face, it has become one of humanitarian assistance. This could help lay a new foundation of international relations.

America and Israel's relations with each other, and their relations with Iran, have undergone much tension and fluctuation, but they could follow another path.

Sharq (reformist)


BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
Hopes fade for Iran quake victims
28 Dec 03  |  Middle East
US aids 'axis of evil' Iran
28 Dec 03  |  Middle East


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