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Trump Mulls $15 Billion French Plan to Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal - Report

© REUTERS / Carlos BarriaFrench President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump react during a news conference at the end of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France
French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump react during a news conference at the end of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France - Sputnik International
Iran recently kicked off the third stage of rolling back its nuclear obligations under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as Iran nuclear deal. Paris reiterated last week its full commitment to returning Iran to a full implementation of the Obama-era accord.

A plan to reduce tensions between Washington and Tehran was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron at a meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G7 summit in French Biarritz earlier in August. Trump told reporters at this G7 summit, cited by The Daily Beast media outlet, that Iran might need a "short-term letter of credit or loan" that could "get them over a very rough patch".

According to the US-based media outlet, citing US officials familiar with the matter, the French plan envisages the extension of a $15 billion credit line to Tehran - guaranteed by Iranian oil - if the Islamic republic comes back into compliance with the JCPOA. Apart from this, Tehran would also have to agree not to "threaten the security" of the Persian Gulf or to impede maritime navigation in the area and in addition Tehran would have to commit to regional Middle East talks in the future, cited by The Daily Beast.

Iran announced the gradual reduction of its nuclear obligations on the first anniversary of the unilateral US pullout from the Iran nuclear deal on 8 May 2019. Tehran then announced that it would start abandoning some parts of its nuclear obligations every 60 days unless European signatories to the deal, including France, ensured Iran's interests under the agreement amid Washington’s reinstated sanctions.

The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. It required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief.

Within the past several months, Iran and France have reportedly been actively engaged in consultations concerning the deal, including phone talks between the presidents and reciprocal high-level visits.

According to The Daily Beast, citing sources, Trump is expected to either agree to cooperate on the French offer or even to ease some sanctions on Tehran. The US president is also reportedly considering a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, the media report said.

Since the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, the relations between Washington and Tehran have soured. Moreover, the Gulf region has been reportedly put on the brink of war over the past several months after several oil tankers were attacked in the waterway - vital for global oil shipments - prompting the United States to blame the incidents on sanctions-hit Iran, which denied the wrongdoing, and boost its own military presence in the region.

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