The state radio and television are continuing their regular programming, essentially devoted to the Presidential election farce. Neither Khamenei nor any senior authorities, have toured the affected areas and no day of national mourning has been announced.
On a visit to Tajikestan when the quake hit, Rafsanjani continued his trip for three days. In addition, the regime continued its six-day naval and air maneuvers in the strait of Hurmoz which began on the same day as the earthquake.
The mullahs gave the figure of 40,000 casualties during the first hours of the quake. But reduced it to only 6,000 in their ensuing reports. Given the strength of the tremor and the weakness in the structure of the houses, particularly in the rural areas, the number of the dead reaches tens of thousands. According to the initial reports of the regime's state radio, at least 80 villages have been completely ruined and another 70 villages are destroyed 60%.
Eyewitnesses from the quake areas say that hundreds of Guards dispatched to the areas have set up check and control points to thwart any protests and refuse to help out in pulling the victims from beneath the rubble. In many regions, people are searching for the bodies of their loved ones with bare hands.
To conceal the actual number of casualties and the extent of destruction, the regime has also prevented international relief teams from entering the country.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran - Paris
May 12, 1997