Almost a month ago, raging floods attacked 26 out of 31 Iranian provinces, forcing hundreds of Iranians out of their homes, depriving them off food and shelter and paralyzing the transport systems in many areas. Much of March and April in Iran has since then has been spent in flood relief and aid collection. It is estimated that the damage caused by these floods has reached up to the value of almost $2.5 billion.

Considering the international political situation and the US blocking flood-relief aid to Iran, there was only so much foreign aid with no assistance in cash, as claimed by the Iranian Red Crescent Society.

“Even though certain countries and organizations have announced their readiness to offer cash contributions, given the inhumane US sanctions against Iran, there is no channel for cash aids to be sent to IRCS as of this date,” IRCS added.

IRGC volunteers in Pol Dokhtar via Mehr News Agency

In a situation where no international relief workers or aid organizations could possibly help, the IRGC, that functions under the orders of the Supreme Leader and was recently labelled a “terrorist” organization by the Trump administration, filled the gap in manpower aided by the IRCS and the army.

IRGC volunteers could be spotted both at Friday congregational prayer centers and in events collecting funds for those affected by the floods as well as on the affecting sites, helping people evacuate and settle into camps.

Amidst this bad a condition, a few news reporters and amateurs used the privilege of possessing smartphone cameras to talk to the flood victims about their experiences and to provide them a space to convey their grief to the officials.

A middle-aged female victim took to the camera about the experience, reported Tuesday, and asked for the message she was about to give to the Supreme Leader. “Deliver this to my dear [Supreme] leader,” she said. “And tell him, that we resisted amidst all these difficulties and we will continue to stand,” she proceeded to say. “We are standing till the last drop of our blood, and we will sacrifice our lives for him. Tell him to pray for us.”

This woman claimed that her house went “under the water” but that she considered it a natural disaster and that she thanked God nonetheless. Finally, she thanked the IRGC and the IRCS for their support in the testing times. “I thank the volunteers of the Red Crescent, the IRGS, and the army. All of those who came here,” she said.

Another victim, a man from the Lorestan province who appeared to be in his forties also turned to the camera in a rather sorrowful tone. He admitted having disrespected and humiliated the Supreme Leader in the past, showing regret for his actions. “Really, I am ashamed,” he said. “I have disrespected him  … if it was not for my [Supreme] Leader, our alleys and roads would have never recovered.” He acknowledged the fact that the Supreme Leader dismissed the other services of the IRGC, sending them for help.

“Till we have Syed Ali, the IRGC and the army, we don’t need the [services of the parliamentary] government.”

Photo: Mehdi Pedramkhoo/EPA-EFE

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