Iran to Send Two Red Crescent Flotillas to Gaza

Published: June 7th 2010
in News » World

Red Crescent

The Iranian Red Crescent has decided to send two aid ships to Gaza this week in the latest attempt to break the Israel-imposed blockade on the Palestinian territory.


This comes with the news that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards recently expressed their willingness to escort aid flotillas to Gaza.


Abdolrauf Adibzadeh, Red Crescent’s director of foreign affairs, told the state news agency (IRNA) that "One ship will carry donations made by the people and the other will carry relief workers. The ships will be sent to Gaza by end of this week."


Adibzadeh also said the Red Crescent has called for Iranian volunteers to act as relief workers and accompany the ships.


"Volunteers who want to go to Gaza and help the oppressed people of occupied Palestine can refer to the Red Crescent website and register," Adibzadeh said.


He said the original plan was to send the ships through a mediating country, but "based on a decision by the society, they will be sent directly." He added that the aid would consist of food and medicines.


In December of 2008, Red Crescent also attempted to send a flotilla of aid supplies to the Gaza border, but were stopped by the Israeli navy.


Blaming the United States, Britain and France for the deadly raid, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatolla Ali Khamenei called for the prosecution of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.


In a message issued on Tuesday, Khamenei called on the international community to end the Israeli blockade.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also lashed out at Israel, demanding that it face "political sanctions" for the raid.


The general hostility between Israel and Iran has been steadily rising, especially under Ahmadinejad’s presidency. The two nations have been at odds regarding nuclear arms, each accusing the other of nuclear intentions.


The Red Crescent flotillas will likely only serve to further deepen the rift.

Related articles: (Red Crescent, Ayatollah, Iran, flotilla, Gaza relief)
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