MIDDLE EAST

Iran rejects Israeli offer to help quake victims

IRAN REJECTS ISRAELI OFFER TO HELP QUAKE VICTIMS

Iran has turned down an Israeli offer to help the victims of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that jolted the Islamic Republic earlier this week, according to Israeli media on Wednesday.

Hundreds were killed when the tremor struck the border area between Iran and Iraq, killing hundreds in the Shia country and several people in Iraq.

"Israel has offered humanitarian assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Iran and Iraq," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federation of North America on Tuesday night.

An official in Netanyahu's office said the Israeli offer was immediately rejected by Iranian authorities.

Iran has yet to officially comment on the issue.

In 2003, Tehran rejected an Israeli offer of assistance for victims of a deadly earthquake that killed thousands in the southeastern Iranian city of Bam.

Israel and Iran are regional arch enemies.

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