EU offers Iran £18million in foreign aid to help combat coronavirus – Guess who foots the bill
Brussels will send £18.4million in foreign aid handouts to Iran to support its efforts in fighting the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the EU's top diplomat has announced.
The Middle Eastern state has suffered over 1,800 virus-related deaths and some 23,000 people have been infected by the disease. Tehran rejected humanitarian aid from the United States as the bitter row with Donald Trump over the 2015 nuclear deal rumbles on despite the global pandemic. But EU foreign policy boss Josep Borrell has vowed to step in and send money to help Iran overcome the impact of coronavirus.
He said: “We’ve not been able to provide a lot of humanitarian help but there is some €20million in the pipeline that we expect to be delivered over the next weeks.
“We also agree in supporting the request by Iran and also by Venezuela to the International Monetary Fund to have financial support.”
“We are going to support this request because these countries are in a very difficult situation mainly due to the US sanctions that prevent them from having income by selling their oil.”
While the UK continues to pay into the EU’s budget as part of the post-Brexit transition period, British taxpayers will see some of their cash sent as part of the Tehran care package.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on Monday told Washington to lift its sanctions if it wants to help the country halt the spread of coronavirus.
Iran has struggled to contain coronavirus with millions of people in the country ignoring the advice to stop travelling for the Persian New Year holidays.
Last weekend, the government closed shopping centres and only left open shops that sell essential goods and pharmacies open.
The army has been deployed to set up a 2,000-bed emergency hospital in Tehran “within two days for the treatment of coronavirus patients,” according to the Tasnim news agency, which has close links to the state.