ICRC closes regional office in Iran
10/11/2012 2:08:49 PM
TEHRAN, Oct. 11 (UPI) --
The International Committee of the Red Cross said it closed an office in Iran used to help with logistical efforts in neighboring Iraq.
The ICRC announced it closed its offices in Kermanshah following more than 10 years of work helping people in Iraq. The offices in 2002 were the first in the area by an international humanitarian organization.
Pierre Ryter, head of the ICRC mission in Iran, said the Kermanshah office served as a hub for getting humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people.
"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," he said in a statement.
Ryter didn't provide a specific reason for the closure. Apart from humanitarian assistance, the ICRC's work in Iran focused on clarifying what happened to prisoners of war from the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
Rights monitors last year condemned Iran after Amnesty International revealed video footage that showed what appeared to be three men hanged from a bridge near the central square in Kermanshah. In the video, guards secure ropes around the necks of three men standing on buses. The video footage ends as the buses start to drive away.