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Iran: ICRC closes office in Kermanshah province

09-10-2012 News Release 12/202

Tehran (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) closed its Kermanshah office in early October after more than ten years of assistance to Iraqi people affected by the conflict in their country.

In late 2002, the ICRC was the first international humanitarian organization to set up an office in Kermanshah. The office provided logistics support for the ICRC's work in Iraq, and its location, safe access routes and secure environment enabled Kermanshah to channel humanitarian services to tens of thousands of Iraqi people affected by the war and its aftermath.

“Supporting our Iraq offices from Iran was a very valuable experience. The decision to close the office was not taken suddenly, but the decreasing need for aid in Iraq convinced the ICRC that support from Iran was not as critical as it had been at the outbreak of the war,” said Pierre Ryter, head of the ICRC mission in Iran.

During ten years of logistics activities in Kermanshah, the ICRC team dispatched more than 24,000 tonnes of aid. 2007 and 2008 were the busiest years, with Kermanshah the biggest ICRC warehouse in the world at the time. In addition to its primary role of helping people in Iraq, the Kermanshah office also provided emergency aid for Iranian people affected by the December 2003 earthquake in Bam.

The ICRC's work in Iran involves clarifying the fate of POWs registered during the Iran-Iraq war or identified through Red Cross messages. The organization works in partnership with the Iranian Red Crescent on the tracing of missing persons, physical rehabilitation, international aid and IHL promotion, for which the national IHL committee is also an important partner.

For further information, please contact:
Mojgan Mohammad, ICRC Tehran, tel: +98 21 22 64 58 21-4 or +98 919 830 11 61