ASIA/IRAN - Iranian aid convoys for Iraqi Christians ready to leave

Monday, 29 December 2014

Tehran (Agenzia Fides) - Iranian aid convoys await the entry permit from the government in Baghdad to enter Iraqi territory and to be distributed among the Christian communities that have suffered ethnic-religious cleansing in the north of the country by jihadists of the Islamic State (IS). This was reported to Iranian news agencies by the Christian parliamentarian Yonatan Betkolia, representative of the Assyrian and Chaldean communities. Betkolia adds that Iran has already sent humanitarian aid to religious minorities brutalized by the militia of the IS. Now humanitarian convoys with food, tents, clothing, and medical and health care for Christians who have found refuge in Erbil and other areas of Iraqi Kurdistan are ready to leave. Iranian officials operating in the area - refers Betkolia - have already contacted the local Christian communities to coordinate the distribution of aid.
Before Christmas, the Iranian ambassador in Amman Mojtaba Ferdowsjpour had visited Archbishop Maroun Lahham - Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. The Iranian diplomat, on that occasion, reiterated that "the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to assist the Christians of Iraq and Syria in order to alleviate their suffering and their sorrows". "Iran" says Archbishop Lahham to Agenzia Fides "has undoubtedly taken a crucial role in the Middle East. It is in permanent contact with the Holy See, with which it shares very important dialogues. We hope that the contribution of Iran has a positive effect in the search for solutions to crises that affect the people of Iraq and Syria". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 29/12/2014)