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Officials: Iran says foreign help for quake area now welcome

The state IRNA news agency Tuesday quoted Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying that Iran is ready to receive help from abroad. The remarks indicate authorities are struggling to deal with the quakes

A victim of Saturday's earthquake sits on the ruins of buildings at the village of Bajebaj near the city of Varzaqan in northwestern Iran, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012. Twin earthquakes in Iran have killed at least 250 people and injured over 2,000, Iranian state television said on Sunday, after thousands spent the night outdoors after their villages were leveled and homes damaged in the country's northwest. Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. It experiences at least one earthquake every day on average, although the vast majority are so small they go unnoticed. (AP Photo/ISNA, Ruhollah Vahdati)

TEHRAN,Iran (AP) - In an apparent change of heart, Iran says foreign aid is now welcome for those affected by twin earthquakes that struck the country's northwest last weekend.

The state IRNA news agency Tuesday quoted Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying that Iran is ready to receive help from abroad. The remarks indicate authorities are struggling to deal with the quakes' aftermath.

The 6.4 and 6.3 magnitude quakes Saturday killed 306 and injured more than 3,000 people in an area bordering Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Iran's Red Crescent said Monday the country doesn't need foreign assistance and sent back a rescue team from Turkey that arrived without advance coordination.

Iranian authorities say they have accommodated some 50,000 people who lost their homes during the quakes, which have been followed by scores of aftershocks


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