IFRC President Konoé in talks with Iranian Vice-President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi in Tehran

Published: 23 April 2013 12:52 CET

The President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today met Iran's Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi for an official meeting at the Presidential Office in the Iranian capital Tehran.

Vice-President Rahimi warmly welcomed Mr Konoé to Iran and praised the IFRC for their ongoing support and cooperation with the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRCS). Mr Konoé expressed his pleasure at being back in the country and praised the excellent work of the IRCS staff and volunteers. "I am proud to say that the IRCS is one of our strongest National Societies and I view their staff and activities with great amazement and admiration," he said. "Unfortunately Iran is a country prone to natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies, so the wealth of expertise and experience of the IRCS is invaluable."

Vice-President Rahimi outlined the resources and services provided by the IRCS and explained that the staff and volunteers were very much motivated by the spirit of humanity and the desire to help others. "Whether in Iran or outside the country – in places such as Somali, Pakistan or Japan – the IRCS it here to help everyone no matter who they are," he said. Vice-President Rahimi also underlined the support provided by the Government of Iran to the IRCS and expressed his admiration for the rapid-response and rescue efforts of the staff and volunteers. "They are always very fast to get to the scene of an emergency and are highly skilled in rescue and relief, reconstruction, healthcare provision and water and sanitation," he said, describing his visit to the scene of the recent  7.8 magnitude earthquake in Bushehr province which left 37 people dead.  "It was clear from the reaction of those affected that the IRCS teams are well respected and well loved by the Iranian people," he said.

Mr Konoé said that the IRCS should serve as a role model for many other National Societies, particularly those prone to similar types of emergencies and that their work should to be promoted more widely throughout the Movement.

 The Vice-President thanked Mr Konoé for the support the IFRC has provided to the IRCS, notably last year during the earthquake in Azerbaijan province.  Mr Konoe reciprocated his thanks for the solidarity shown by Iran to the Japanese people during the 2011 earthquake and Tsunami.