As the earthquake death toll in Iran rises, with the latest reports going as high as 40,000 (although such high initial estimates always go down later, thank God), countries from around the world are lining up to help.
The White House, which has had tense relations with Iran, announced on Saturday afternoon that it would send more than 200 civilian experts in urban search and rescue, emergency surgery and disaster response coordination.
The humanitarian delegation will include teams from Boston, Los Angeles and Fairfax County, Va., an administration statement said, along with disaster experts from the State Department and other agencies.
Pentagon teams will deliver more than 150,000 pounds of medical supplies from bases in Kuwait, the statement said, adding that the government is working with the Iranian authorities, the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to rapidly distribute the assistance.
There was a time when such assistance from the “Great Satan” would have been rejected. I hope that this witness of America’s compassion will motivate some small ember of good will in the hearts of the dictatorial mullahs of Iran. Hopefully, the impact of our aid will bypass the government filters and land in the hearts of the ordinary people who will begin to question why their leaders declare there must be hatred between our countries.
Unfortunately, although the Iranian mullahs may have moved forward enough to accept our help, they have not moved much further. They still reject all aid coming from Israel.
Lord have mercy on all those who died and on those they leave behind.