(August 24, 2018 / JNS) The European Union announced on Thursday financial support to stimulate the declining Iranian economy.
The assistance exemplifies the bloc’s pledge to maintain the 2015 Iran nuclear accord despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision in May to withdraw the U.S. from the deal and reimpose economic sanctions on Iran, which took effect earlier this month.
The $21 million is the first part of an overall $58 million package for Iran.
“This new package will widen economic and sectoral relations in areas that are of direct benefit to our citizens,” E.U. High Representative Federica Mogherini said in a statement.
Nonetheless, European companies have announced they will stop conducting business in Iran. British Airways and Air France announced on Thursday that they will no longer be offering flights to Tehran in September.
“We are suspending our London to Tehran service as the operation is currently not commercially viable,” the airline said in a statement.
While the carriers did not cite the sanctions as the reason for their decision, America has been pressuring European companies to avoid doing business in Iran or risk getting caught up in U.S. sanctions.
Dutch airline KLM previously announced it was halting flights to Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the decision by the European airlines to halt their service to Iran.
“That is good, more should follow, more will follow because Iran should not be rewarded for its aggression in the region, for its attempts to spread terrorism far and wide,” he told a news conference during a visit to Lithuania.