€18mln Aid for Iran Not Part of EU Package for Saving JCPOA: Spokesman

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the European Union’s Thursday move to allocate 18 million euros ($20.6 mln) to support Iran has nothing to do with the EU’s expected package of economic measures to save the 2015 nuclear deal.

In remarks released early on Friday, Qassemi said the European Commission has allocated the €18 million fund to help implement development projects in Iran, adding that it is the first part of the commission’s €50 million in aid for Iran.

“This budget is related to Iran's cooperation with the European Union, and it has nothing to do with the EU’s economic package planned to be proposed within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to counter US sanctions against Iran,” the spokesman said.

The remarks came after some Western media reports claimed that the EU’s package of 18 million euros is to “help offset the impact of US sanctions and salvage” the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

In a press release on Thursday, the European Commission said it has “adopted a first package of €18 million for projects in support of sustainable economic and social development in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including €8 million assistance to the private sector.”

“Today's projects are the first of a wider package of €50 million for Iran, aiming to support the country to address key economic and social challenges,” it said, adding, “They are part of the renewed cooperation and engagement between the European Union and Iran following the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”

The EU has vowed to counter Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures.

Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

He said the US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country.

Trump also restated his opinion that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was a “horrible, one-sided deal”.

On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

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