The European Union has announced that it will provide more than $20 million in aid to Iran to counter the repercussions of sanctions imposed by the US. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Tehran earlier this month and warned that anyone continuing to do business with the country would face consequences. The EU has criticized the US sanctions and has forbidden European companies from complying with them.
The EU is trying to save the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. The leaders of signatory nations have said that the deal has been effective in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Trump officially withdrew the US from the agreement in May.
The aid package being offered to Iran is intended to support both the public and private sectors of the nation. The plan has earmarked about $9 million to support Iranian businesses and its Trade Promotion Organization. Another $9 million will go to support environmental efforts. The remaining $2 million will be used to counter the effects of drug use.
European leaders, as well as those of JCPOA signatories Russia and China, have been dismissive of threats from the US regarding Iran. Foreign ministers of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the EU issued a joint statement saying that Europe would take steps to “protect” its economic interests in the country. Iran has urged European leaders to increase their efforts to preserve the 2015 agreement.
The US has not yet announced any actions it intends to take with regards to the EU sending the aid package to Iran. Mr. Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton said, “There should not be any doubt that the United States wants this resolved peacefully, but we are fully prepared for any contingency that Iran creates.”