MESOP NEWS TOP OF THE AGENDA Major Quake Kills Hundreds in Iran, Iraq / SOURCES

At least 349 people are reported dead in Iran and Iraq following a 7.3-magnitude earthquake late on Sunday, with casualties falling heavily on the Iranian side of the border.

Iranian authorities have reported at least 341 dead and more than five thousand injured in cities near the border (IRNA) while, in Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region, at least eight people were killed (NYT) and five hundred injured. The EU foreign policy chief has offered humanitarian aid to Iran (Al Jazeera) and a Turkish cargo plane carrying aid and emergency personnel (AP) has arrived in northern Iraq. Iran, which sits along numerous fault lines, saw tens of thousands die (AFP) in major earthquakes in 1990 and 2003.


“[Iranian] Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jafari [said] that the rebuilding carried out in Iran’s border areas which were destroyed during the deadly war with Iraq in the 1980s had prevented a lot of casualties,” Najmeh Bozorgmehr and Monavar Khalaj write for the Financial Times.

“After [Iran’s 2012] quake, the United States, which does not maintain normal diplomatic relations with Iran, sent several planeloads of aid,” Thomas Erdbrink writes for the New York Times.

“The big driver here is the clash between the Arabia and Eurasia tectonic plates. The former is pushing north by a couple of centimeters a year,” Jonathan Amos writes for the BBC.