Iranians Welcome International Relief Aid

IRAN still needs tents, blankets and medical supplies to cope with last Thursday's earthquake, the United Nations Disaster Relief Organization said Tuesday. ``Our delegates on the spot confirm that there is a massive flow of aid coming in at this moment from various countries, a great number of relief flights arriving in Tehran,'' said Fabrizio Gentiloni, a senior relief coordinator for UNDRO.

Interior Minister Abdollah Nouri said that foreign-aid workers were welcome in Iran, and Health Minister Iraj Fazel denied reports that Tehran was blocking foreign relief aid or discouraging medical teams from coming.

Foreign relief officials said Monday that there was no hope of finding more survivors in the area of northwest Iran devastated by last week's massive quake.

The rescue effort has been hampered by fresh earthquakes in the area Sunday and Monday.

Tehran University's Geophysics Center reported Monday that 22 aftershocks struck the devastated region in the previous 24 hours, some as strong as 5.5 on the Richter scale.

Up to 50,000 people died in the earthquake. Some 100,000 people were injured, and a half a million made homeless.

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