US temporarily easing Iran sanctions after twin earthquakes
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US temporarily easing Iran sanctions after twin earthquakes

Obama administration to allow Americans to give money to US-based charities for direct assistance to victims

In this photo released by official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, visits a village damaged by an earthquake in northwestern Iran, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)
In this photo released by official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, visits a village damaged by an earthquake in northwestern Iran, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is temporarily easing sanctions on Iran to allow Americans to donate money to US-based charities providing direct assistance to victims of deadly twin earthquakes that hit the country earlier this month.

The Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it would authorize aid groups to transfer up to $300,000 to Iran for earthquake relief over the next 45 days, provided the money is routed through a foreign bank and does not go to or benefit any individual or entity that is subject to existing US sanctions.

American citizens were already able to make individual donations of food and medicine to Iranian earthquake victims without violating US sanctions.

More than 300 people were killed and 3,000 injured in the quakes that hit northwest Iran on August 11.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press

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