U.S. offers to help Iran after deadly quake

WASHINGTON Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:28pm BST

1 of 3. Damaged houses are seen in the earthquake stricken town of Bushehr in Iran, April 9, 2013, in this handout photo from ISNA.

Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Salehinia/ISNA

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House, at odds with Iran over its nuclear program, offered on Wednesday to help Tehran grapple with a deadly earthquake in southern Iran.

The powerful 6.3 magnitude quake struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station on Tuesday, killing 37 people and injuring 850 as it destroyed homes and devastated two small villages, Iranian media reported.

Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement the American people extended condolences to the people of Iran for the devastation that resulted from the quake.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the destruction that's been caused by this disaster, and stand ready to help the Iranian people in this time of need," she said.

The two countries remain at loggerheads over Iran's alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapon. President Barack Obama vowed on a trip to Israel last month that the United States would not allow Tehran to possess a nuclear weapon.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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