Earthquake survivors mourn in front of destroyed houses in Sarpol-e-Zahab in western Iran, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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Criticism of U.S. sanctions on Iran rekindled Thursday over Iranian-Americans abroad being unable to send money directly to aid those affected by a powerful earthquake that killed over 530 people as doctors worked to help the injured. While the 2015 nuclear deal lifted some sanctions, others dating back as far as the days after the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran still stand, including those that prohibit the some 1 million Iranian-Americans from directly sending cash to Iran.However, it has lifted some sanctions in the past to help with Iranian earthquake relief, most notably in 2003 when a magnitude 6.6 earthquake killed 26,000 people in Bam.Sunday night's earthquake hit about 31 kilometers outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and struck 23.2 kilometers below the surface, a somewhat shallow depth that can amplify the damage.
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