The Tudeh Party of Iran expresses its profound sorrow and extends its deepest sympathies upon the news of the huge earthquakes that have hit Türkiye and Syria, taking the lives of thousands of people and causing immense destruction in both countries. It was with great sadness that we bore witness to the shocking scenes of residential buildings collapsing and folding in tandem – even new buildings that ought to have been constructed according to earthquake-resistant standards, given the acute vulnerability of that geographical locale at the very intersection of three major tectonic plates.
The Iranian people are more than familiar with the devastation wrought by such earthquakes and the colossal hardship endured by the victims in the aftermath and often for many years thereafter. It was only on Sunday 29 January that the area of Khoy, in Iran’s north-western province of West Azarbaijan, right on the border with Türkiye, was also hit by a huge earthquake following continuous seismic activity there since last autumn. Fortunately, the death toll was minimal by comparison though thousands of people were injured and left destitute, homeless, and at the mercy of a bitter winter.
These natural disasters are made all the worser by ongoing conflict and insecurity; corruption; governmental and official ineptitude, as well as the unfathomable obstruction and brinksmanship between those authorities whose primary focus should be on the emergency relief efforts.
The US-instituted blockade and sanctions in place regarding Syria over the last decade – which we condemn and call for the immediate removal of – must not be allowed to impede the emergency relief efforts or perturb otherwise capable and suitable agencies from becoming involved and lending their valuable assistance.
It is the duty of the international community and all responsible aid agencies to offer their assistance to the affected nations, and expediently so, in order to save lives, by search and rescue efforts; providing medical services, food, blankets, shelters and heaters; clearing rubble; and helping to restore critical infrastructure. All other concerns pertaining to these countries must be relegated beneath the immediate need to address this acute humanitarian emergency.
The Tudeh Party of Iran is aware of the calls by the communist parties, trade unions, youth and women organisations, and peace movements in Türkiye and Syria for the urgent mobilisation of solidarity missions to reach assistance to those affected by this disaster. We concur with these calls and express our full solidarity with the fraternal Communist Party of Türkiye (TKP), Syrian Communist Party, and Syrian Communist Party (Unified), and wish their endeavours in assisting the victims of the earthquake every success. We stand with you.
We send our most sincere condolences to the people of Türkiye and Syria in this dark moment and reiterate our solidarity with them.
Tudeh Party of Iran
7 February 2023