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Iran’s top leader releases special funds for flood damages

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s top leader has approved the use of special funds so authorities can deal with damages from major flooding that has hit the country over the past weeks, killing at least 76 people.

The official IRNA news agency on Monday said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave the government permission to use the National Development Fund should the country’s regular budget not meet the needs.

Since March, flash floods have been hitting the northern and western parts of Iran, with damages estimated so far at nearly $2.5 billion.

President Hassan Rouhani last week asked Khamenei to release about $2 billion from the development fund. The fund, established in 2000, collects some of the country’s foreign revenue and uses it for emergency needs.