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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK
Iran anger at Lebanon aid 'block'
By Frances Harrison
BBC News, Tehran

Red Cross aid delivered in Tyre
The international community is trying to clear aid channels
Turkey and Saudi Arabia have stopped Iran using their air space to send humanitarian relief to Lebanon, media in Iran have said.

Iran's health ministry has been collecting supplies to send to the Lebanese people, the reports said.

But the goods had to be sent via Dubai to Syria because of objections by other countries in the region.

This may fuel Iranian anger against nations they feel have not done enough to support Hezbollah against Israel.

'Passivity'

Iran's Labour news agency quotes the head of the country's emergency services as complaining that Turkish officials prevented Iran from using their air space for humanitarian aid destined for Lebanon.

The same official said three Iranian ambulances had already been despatched to Lebanon and soon another 20 would follow.

Another news agency quotes the security chief of Iran's health ministry as saying both Turkey and Saudi Arabia had prevented Iran from using their air space for three plane-loads of medicine.

The Iranian health ministry says it sent a group of health experts to Lebanon to assess the situation but Hezbollah has told the group it has enough food and medicine to last for five months.

Iran has already complained bitterly about Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states which it says have caused divisions in the Muslim world and failed to do enough to support Hezbollah.

Daily newspaper editorials bemoan what they call the passivity of Arab leaders.

The speaker of the Iranian parliament recently called on Arab people in those countries to rise up against their governments.


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