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    Iran has been struck by its most powerful earthquake for more than 50 years, with tremors felt across Pakistan, India and the Middle East.

    The epicentre of the 7.8-magnitude quake was near the south-eastern city of Khash, close to Pakistan.

    The quake struck deep and in a remote region, apparently limiting casualties.

    Iranian state TV said 27 people had been injured, but rowed back on early reports of deaths. More than 30 people were killed in Pakistan.

    The area has since been shaken by several strong aftershocks.

    Offices were evacuated in Karachi, Pakistan, in the Indian capital of Delhi, and in several Gulf cities.

    The earthquake struck in the province of Sistan Baluchistan at about 15:14 local time (10:44 GMT), close to the cities of Khash, which has a population of nearly 180,000, and Saravan, where 250,000 people live.

    "The epicentre of the quake was located in the desert, and population centres do not surround it. There were no fatalities in the towns around the epicentre," an Iranian crisis centre official, Morteza Akbarpour, was quoted as saying by the Iranian news agency Isna.

    Iranian state TV initially reported that 40 people had been killed, and one Iranian official was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying hundreds of deaths were expected.

    But Iran's Red Crescent said it expected limited damage and a low death toll because the earthquake was so deep - the Iranian Seismological Centre estimated the depth at 95km (59 miles).

    Iran's Fars news agency said the depth of the quake had reduced its impact to the size of a magnitude-4.0 tremor on the surface.

    Iranian scientists said it was the country's strongest earthquake for more than 50 years.

    All communications to the region have been cut, and the Red Crescent said it was sending 20 search-and-rescue teams with three helicopters to the area.

    A resident of Saravan, Yar Ahmad, told BBC Persian that a number of people in the nearby village of Lolokadan had been injured, with broken arms or legs, but only had first aid kits for treatment.

    No rescue workers had arrived, and the roads were in poor condition, he said.

    Tents and shacks
    Sistan Baluchistan is Iran's biggest province and one of its most impoverished areas.

    A member of parliament for Saravan, Hedayatollah Mir-Morad Zehi, said there were 1,700 villages in the area, and most of the buildings were made of mud.

    Many people in the area live in tents or shacks, a factor which is thought to have limited the number of casualties.

    Fars news agency said that Saravan had suffered no serious damage.

    Across the border in Pakistan, up to 34 people were killed and about 80 injured in the Mashkel district of Balochistan province, the army said.

    Communications were disrupted in Mashkel, which has a population of about 45,000. But aid workers said many houses were thought to have been damaged or destroyed.

    The earthquake was felt across the region.

    Michael Stephens, a researcher at RUSI Qatar, told the BBC from his office in Doha: "I definitely felt the walls shaking. It lasted for about 25 seconds."

    Mohammad Wazir, a correspondent for BBC Persian in Pakistan, says the quake was felt in the cities of Karachi and Quetta.

    Tuesday's earthquake was about 180 times stronger in energy release than a 6.3-magnitude quake that struck on 10 April near the nuclear plant at Bushehr in south-western Iran. That quake killed at least 37 people and wounded 850.

    The Bushehr plant was not damaged by the earlier earthquake, and an official at the Russian firm that built the plant said it had not been damaged by Tuesday's earthquake either, Reuters reported.

    Scientists say earthquakes in south-eastern Iran are triggered by the clash between the Arabia and Eurasia tectonic plates, the former of which is pushing north at a rate of several centimetres each year.

    In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake destroyed much of the south-eastern city of Bam and killed some 26,000 people.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22168202
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    Iran is mourning the death of innocent civilians in this freak natural disaster.

    We encourage the international community to lift sanctions to enable the government to cope with these strenuous circumstances.

    The Iranian Red Crescent is well placed to cooperate with government agencies to ensure that those who need assistance, are given the help they need.
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    The Netherlands offers its greatest condolences to the people of Iran, after suffering from this tragic event, however, The Netherlands does not believe that sanctions should be removed, but if talks in Almaty go well, the international community may lift some sanctions.
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    We welcome your condolences.

    As a point of order we would like to remind the international community that in 2012 the United States temporarily lifted certain sanctions to enable us to recover from a similar situation.

    http://www.treasury.gov/press-center...es/tg1689.aspx
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    The Republic of South Africa is saddened by this announcement and we would like to extend our most sincere condolences to Iran and her people. Nonetheless, we agree with the Netherlands - just because you have suffered a horrible tragedy does not excuse your previous behaviour.
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    Please could the 'Republic of South Africa' expand upon our 'previous actions'. Could they also justify why the people of Iran should suffer because the International Community disagree with her government.

    Perhaps South Africa should have their own affairs in order before they begin criticizing others. There are almost daily accusations of corruption among the South African political elite and your involvement in the CAR has also been condemned by the United States to name but a few.

    As for the 'does not excuse your previous behavior', we would like to remind South Africa of their not to distant past.
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    You are a threat to global peace. This is obvious. You have repeatedly ignored warnings to stop your nuclear programme as it is blatant that you are not using this in a peaceful manner. You have proved you cannot be trusted and this is why international sanctions should not be lifted.

    The international community disagrees with your government for a reason. Also, we do not believe you have the right to talk about our "not too distant past," considering your record on human rights (or lack thereof.)
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    Malaysia offers its condolences to those affected by the recent earthquake in Iran. We hope sufficient aid can be provided to help those in the most need in such a tragic time.
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    The Republic of the Union of Myanmar sends deepest sympathies for this incident. We would not give our opinions on lifting sanctions which depends on the talk in Almaty. However, we offer to give medical aids if necessary.
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    We thank very greatly the nations of Myanmar and Malaysia for their condolences and offer of aid. Should your nations require help or aid at any time in future we would do all we can to provide assistance.

    To South Africa:

    Do you honestly not understand the hypocritical nature of your comments? What about your record on Human Rights? Only last year your own police force massacred 34 miners! Murder rates in your country are amongst the highest in the world, only ANC party members seem to be rich while millions live on less than $1 a day.

    SHOW US THE EVIDENCE of 'nuclear weapons' if you want to criticize us. And don't say 'secret sources', you condemn us like you did Iraq. IRAQ HAD NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS! and neither do we. Countries such as yours destroyed a country based purely on speculation! Countries like yours are attempting to destroy Iran, based purely on speculation.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency have said that there is NO EVIDENCE that we are seeking to develop nuclear weapons. That is a fact. We have also agreed previously to tougher inspections of our Nuclear Facilities. We have nothing to hide.
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    The UK and New Zealand send their condolences to those civillians effected by this tragedy.
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    The Maldives offer their sincere condolences and sympathies to those affected in both Iran and Pakistan, and commends the fortitude and tenacity of the peoples of these great countries. We wish the recovery efforts every success.
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    Bosnia-Herzegovina sends condolences to those affected. Bosnia also believes that sanctions should be lifted off of Iran and that discrimination based upon religion from the United States must stop.
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    (Original post by david9640)
    We thank very greatly the nations of Myanmar and Malaysia for their condolences and offer of aid. Should your nations require help or aid at any time in future we would do all we can to provide assistance.

    To South Africa:

    Do you honestly not understand the hypocritical nature of your comments? What about your record on Human Rights? Only last year your own police force massacred 34 miners! Murder rates in your country are amongst the highest in the world, only ANC party members seem to be rich while millions live on less than $1 a day.

    SHOW US THE EVIDENCE of 'nuclear weapons' if you want to criticize us. And don't say 'secret sources', you condemn us like you did Iraq. IRAQ HAD NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS! and neither do we. Countries such as yours destroyed a country based purely on speculation! Countries like yours are attempting to destroy Iran, based purely on speculation.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency have said that there is NO EVIDENCE that we are seeking to develop nuclear weapons. That is a fact. We have also agreed previously to tougher inspections of our Nuclear Facilities. We have nothing to hide.
    With respect, sir, it seems to us that you should be attending to the needs of your people affected by this tragedy rather than perpetuating a pointless argument.
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    (Original post by david9640)
    We thank very greatly the nations of Myanmar and Malaysia for their condolences and offer of aid. Should your nations require help or aid at any time in future we would do all we can to provide assistance.

    To South Africa:

    Do you honestly not understand the hypocritical nature of your comments? What about your record on Human Rights? Only last year your own police force massacred 34 miners! Murder rates in your country are amongst the highest in the world, only ANC party members seem to be rich while millions live on less than $1 a day.

    SHOW US THE EVIDENCE of 'nuclear weapons' if you want to criticize us. And don't say 'secret sources', you condemn us like you did Iraq. IRAQ HAD NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS! and neither do we. Countries such as yours destroyed a country based purely on speculation! Countries like yours are attempting to destroy Iran, based purely on speculation.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency have said that there is NO EVIDENCE that we are seeking to develop nuclear weapons. That is a fact. We have also agreed previously to tougher inspections of our Nuclear Facilities. We have nothing to hide.
    Let me make this abundantly clear to the Representative for Iran: the Director General said declared activities are peaceful. Since the IAEA has not been given full access to Iran, we cannot assess the nature of these activities. We have been provided with evidence that we judge to be credible which indicates these hidden activities are not peaceful.
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    South Africa:

    Why is it acceptable for Israel, America and other European countries to have nuclear weapons of mass destruction but not Iran? Is this religious discrimination on your behalf?
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    (Original post by Qwertish)
    Let me make this abundantly clear to the Representative for Iran: the Director General said declared activities are peaceful. Since the IAEA has not been given full access to Iran, we cannot assess the nature of these activities. We have been provided with evidence that we judge to be credible which indicates these hidden activities are not peaceful.
    The rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitle every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment. Uranium enrichment itself is not evidence of the development of WMD.

    IAEA has conducted 7,500 person/days of inspection, including nearly 100 snap inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
    Iran’s enriched uranium is immediately sealed by the UN’s nuclear agency after the product is taken out of centrifuges. No other signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would allow such inspections or demonstrate this level of cooperation with the IAEA.

    We would also echo the points made above. Iran is a nation who have never attacked any other nation, a nation who have never used nuclear weapons and yet we are treated by the international community as a nation who have committed the worst of crimes. I don't see large scale monitoring or sanctions imposed against Israel, despite a wide held belief that they posses WMDs, and have invaded Palestine, and have also threatened other nations. Why Iran and not Israel? Why is a nation who have never invaded another, not allowed Nuclear Weapons, but nations such as the United Kingdom, who controlled 1/3rd of the planet through war, and have been involved in numerous overseas conflicts, allowed to posses such weapons? There is a blatant hypocrisy!

    We would also like to point out that we are dealing with the disaster. If you believe that Iran should withdraw from discussion with the International Community because of the recent disaster then I assume you would like us to cancel all future discussions regarding our Nuclear energy program until we have fully recovered from the disaster?
    The purpose of this 'argument' is to point out the blatant hypocrisy in the west's arguments. Your unjustified sanctions do not help save our people during this disaster.
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    (Original post by david9640)
    The rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitle every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment. Uranium enrichment itself is not evidence of the development of WMD.

    IAEA has conducted 7,500 person/days of inspection, including nearly 100 snap inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
    Iran’s enriched uranium is immediately sealed by the UN’s nuclear agency after the product is taken out of centrifuges. No other signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would allow such inspections or demonstrate this level of cooperation with the IAEA.

    We would also echo the points made above. Iran is a nation who have never attacked any other nation, a nation who have never used nuclear weapons and yet we are treated by the international community as a nation who have committed the worst of crimes. I don't see large scale monitoring or sanctions imposed against Israel, despite a wide held belief that they posses WMDs, and have invaded Palestine, and have also threatened other nations. Why Iran and not Israel? Why is a nation who have never invaded another, not allowed Nuclear Weapons, but nations such as the United Kingdom, who controlled 1/3rd of the planet through war, and have been involved in numerous overseas conflicts, allowed to posses such weapons? There is a blatant hypocrisy!

    We would also like to point out that we are dealing with the disaster. If you believe that Iran should withdraw from discussion with the International Community because of the recent disaster then I assume you would like us to cancel all future discussions regarding our Nuclear energy program until we have fully recovered from the disaster?
    The purpose of this 'argument' is to point out the blatant hypocrisy in the west's arguments. Your unjustified sanctions do not help save our people during this disaster.
    Your enrichment programme, which is under IAEA supervision and is declared to be safe, was never mentioned before just now.

    The IAEA will not make any political statement regarding the earthquake or the nature of UN sanctions; nor the remit which we have been given by the Security Council. These issues are not our concern.

    We simply wished to correct your continued misquoting of the Director General.
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    (Original post by Qwertish)
    Your enrichment programme, which is under IAEA supervision and is declared to be safe, was never mentioned before just now.

    The IAEA will not make any political statement regarding the earthquake or the nature of UN sanctions; nor the remit which we have been given by the Security Council. These issues are not our concern.

    We simply wished to correct your continued misquoting of the Director General.
    We did not misquote the Director General. As you demonstrated, our quote was genuine.
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    (Original post by david9640)
    We did not misquote the Director General. As you demonstrated, our quote was genuine.
    The quote was not given in full. It was misleading at best; deceitful at worst.
 
 
 
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