Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Iran is "fully ready" to help those affected by the devastating earthquake in neighboring Turkey, which has so far claimed the lives of thousands of people there.
In a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday night, Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran stands ready to provide necessary aid to Turkey, where search and rescue operations are underway to release those trapped in the rubble.
“The news of the tragic earthquake in Turkey’s south deeply saddened me and the Iranian nation and government. We offer our condolences to you, the government, and the dear people of the Republic of Turkey, especially the bereaved families. In this difficult situation, we stand by the Turkish nation and government,” he said.
“Based on the president’s orders, the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) is ready to fully cooperate with you and provide the necessary assistance. In this regard, an IRCS medical and relief team will arrive in Turkey tonight to help rescue the victims.”
A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday.
With thousands of buildings collapsed, the tremor is considered to be the strongest to hit the region in nearly a century.
So far, more than 4,800 people have been confirmed dead in both Turkey and Syria.
The top Iranian diplomat also voiced concerns about the situation of Iranians, including the students, residing in the quake-affected areas, and expressed gratitude to Ankara for helping them.
He wished a swift recovery for the injured, patience for the bereaved families, and pride and well-being for the Turkish nation.
Cavusoglu, for his part, thanked the Iranian president, foreign minister, government and nation for their support and sympathy.
He expressed his gratitude to Iran for voicing readiness to send IRCS medical and relief teams to Turkey.
The Turkish foreign minister also highlighted Ankara’s attention to the situation of Iranian nationals and its cooperation with the Iranian embassy in Ankara and the Iranian consulate in Erzurum to assist them.