US: EU Aid for Iran Sends “Wrong Message”

US: EU Aid for Iran Sends “Wrong Message”US: EU Aid for Iran Sends “Wrong Message”

The top US envoy on Iran has criticized a European Union decision to give $20.7 million in aid to Tehran on Friday, saying it sent “the wrong message at the wrong time,” and he urged Brussels to help Washington end what he claimed was the Iranian threat to global stability.

“Foreign aid from European taxpayers perpetuates the regime’s ability to neglect the needs of its people and stifles meaningful policy changes,” Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, said in a statement, Reuters reported.

“The Iranian people face very real economic pressures caused by their government’s corruption, mismanagement, and deep investment in terrorism and foreign conflicts,” he claimed. “The US and the European Union should be working together instead to find lasting solutions that truly support Iran’s people and end the regime’s threats to regional and global stability.”

The EU decision on Thursday to provide 18 million euros ($20.7 million) in aid to Iran is aimed at offsetting the impact of US sanctions as European countries try to salvage the 2015 agreement that saw Tehran limit its nuclear program.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said Friday that the European Commission's €18 million aid is separate from the economic package that the EU is expected to offer to help save the 2015 nuclear deal after the US exit.

President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in May and is reimposing sanctions on Tehran, even as other parties to the accord try to find ways to save the agreement.

The EU funding is part of a wider package of 50 million euros earmarked in the EU budget for Iran, which has threatened to stop complying with the nuclear accord if it fails to see the economic benefit of relief from sanctions.

The US under Trump is pushing its close allies, friends and trade partners to comply with its unilateral sanctions to undermine the Iranian economy and create chaos in the country.

“More money in the hands of the ayatollah means more money to conduct assassinations in those very European countries,” Hook said in his statement.

US national security adviser John Bolton told Reuters during a visit to Israel earlier this week that the return of US sanctions was having a strong effect on Iran’s economy and popular opinion.

The US sanctions dusted off this month targeted Iran’s car industry, trade in gold and other precious metals, and purchases of US dollars crucial to international financing and investment and trade relations. Farther-reaching sanctions are to follow in November on Iran’s banking sector and oil exports.


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