The US has rebuffed the EU’s announcement of a new aid package for Iran worth 18 million euros (20.7 million dollars), which the US government believes “sends the wrong message at the wrong time”.

“Foreign aid from European taxpayers perpetuates the regime’s ability to neglect the needs of its people and stifles significant policy changes,” said State Department Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.

“More money in the hands of the Ayatollah means more money for murder in European countries. The Iranian people are facing very real economic pressures caused by corruption, mismanagement and the deep investment in terrorism and external conflicts by their government,” the U.S. diplomat insisted.

The European Commission (EC) has authorized the funds to Iran for projects that promote its economic and social development, of which EUR 8 million (USD 9.3 million) will go to the private sector.

EU High Representative Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Address Reporters Following Negotiations Between P5+1 Member Nations and Iranian Officials About Future of Iran's Nuclear Program (fb)
EU High Representative Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Address Reporters Following Negotiations Between P5+1 Member Nations and Iranian Officials About Future of Iran's Nuclear Program( Flickr CC)

These projects are the first of a package of assistance of up to 50 million euros (58 million dollars) to help Iran as part of the renewed joint cooperation between the European Union and Iran following the international agreement to prevent the country from producing nuclear weapons.

The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, said that, as a result of this pact, cooperation between the EU and Iran has developed in many areas.

However, in the face of this move, Hook insisted that the United States and the European Union “should work together to find lasting solutions that truly support the Iranian people and put an end to the regime’s threats to regional and global stability.

The nuclear agreement with Iran signed in 2015 was promoted by the US, Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany. However, President Donald Trump retracted from the agreement last May, claiming that Tehran had breached its commitments to respect the agreement.