Gotta love it: : Iran Criticizes U.S. Quake Relief Efforts

Hardliners in Iran’s government criticized U.S. relief efforts after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 30,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam, accusing Washington of trying to meddle in Tehran’s affairs.
The criticism came as the Bush administration considered sending Sen. Elizabeth Dole to Iran as part of a relief mission after the 6.6-magnitude quake, and asked President Mohammad Khatami whether Tehran would allow a Dole-led delegation, an administration official said Friday.

Dole’s making the trip would send a clear signal of American interest in providing aid as a prelude to a possible political opening to Iran, which Bush has characterized as part of an “axis of evil.”

The United States already has sent Iran several planes full of humanitarian relief, including teams of doctors and aid workers, despite diplomatic relations severed since the 1979 hostage crisis.

Khatami has thanked Washington for its support but hardline clerics within the government expressed suspicion about the motives behind U.S. aid offers.

State radio, a mouthpiece for Iran’s clerics, on Friday charged that Bush had “once again demonstrated that America’s interfering and hostile policy against Iran has not altered at all.”

Of course, these are the same people who’d rather starve than take money from Israeli.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.