Monday 21 June 2010

UN-sanctioned Iran Guards wing offers to end US oil spill

TEHRAN - (AFP) - The UN-sanctioned industrial wing of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards offered on Monday to help end the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, saying the disaster had become a "shame" for the United States.

Brigadier General Rostam Qasemi, who heads the Guards' industrial wing Khatam al-Anbiya, said on Guards website that his organisation could consider sending its experts for ending the two-month old oil spill.

"This is a shame and a disgrace for America, Britain and those who think they are the cradle of technology and superpowers in the world's industrial and economic fields," said Qasemi who himself is a target of US sanctions.

"Two months after the oil rig was destroyed, they are unable to contain the oil spill. It is a mark of crisis for Western technology and the arrogant experts from American and British companies have reached a dead end."

He said Khatam al-Anbiya can send its experts to end the crisis if asked, boasting that "three decades of sanctions has led (the Guards) to acquiring the capability" to fight such disasters.

"They can ask and after due consideration, we will send experts from Khatam al-Anbiya to end the major crisis and put an end to the environmental disaster," Qasemi said.

"Despite the recent sanctions, the Guards will embark on its humane mission and take its exclusive and indigenous ability to the Gulf of Mexico."

Last month Iranian state firm National Iranian Drilling Company had also offered to help curb the massive oil spill.

Khatam al-Anbiya, is one of 15 Iranian companies linked to the Guards which have been targeted in the latest round of UN sanctions imposed against Iran on June 9.

It was created during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war to help rebuild the country, and has diversified over the years into companies dealing with mechanical engineering, energy, mining and defence.

US outrage has mounted as the oil spill reached its two-month mark, impacting 59 miles (95 kilometres) of Gulf Coast shoreline, mainly in Louisiana but also in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

More than one-third of federal waters in the Gulf are closed to fishing because of the spill.

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