March 23, 2020 / 3:04 PM / in 14 days

EU to provide 20 million euros in humanitarian aid to Iran

FILE PHOTO: Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as they disinfect the streets, ahead of the Iranian New Year Nowruz, March 20, in Tehran, Iran March 18, 2020. Picture taken March 18, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Ali Khara via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will send 20 million euros in humanitarian aid to Iran, which is subject to U.S. sanctions, to help alleviate the coronavirus, and will also support Tehran’s request for IMF financial help, the EU’s top diplomat said.

“We’ve not been able to provide a lot of humanitarian help but there is some 20 million euros in the pipeline ... that we expect to be delivered over the next weeks,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a video news conference on Monday.

“We also agree in supporting the request by Iran and also by Venezuela to the International Monetary Fund to have financial support,” he said after a video conference of EU foreign ministers, although he did not give more details.

Iran is the Middle Eastern nation worst hit by coronavirus, with over 1,800 deaths and 23,049 infected people. One person is dying from the virus every 10 minutes, according to the healthministry.

Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Catherine Evans

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