The European Union won’t be enough to save Iran. Brussels will provide the embattled country 18 million euros ($21 million) worth of assistance as part of a larger 50 million-euro package. Nominally, this will be used to offset the damage caused by U.S. sanctions. Realistically, it’s a pretty small figure. The EU obviously wants to help out, as evidenced by the blocking statute it passed a couple of weeks ago, but there’s only so much it can do. Especially when you consider that 16 U.S. senators have called on Washington to expel Iran from the SWIFT banking network, a messaging service that facilitates cross-border transfers of funds. This would make it more difficult for Iran to access and move capital around outside of its borders.
Weaknesses continue to reveal themselves elsewhere in the EU too. Several days ago, a spat over where an Italian coastguard ship should dock, Italy or Malta, at first seemed resolved when it docked in Sicily. The ship was carrying nearly 200 migra