France to offer Iran oil credit line to keep nuclear deal alive... if US agrees

France to offer Iran oil credit line to keep nuclear deal alive... if US agrees
France could offer Iran a $15 billion lifeline to keep the nuclear deal alive.
2 min read
04 September, 2019
Iran could limit its nuclear ambitions in exchange for a credit line [Getty]

France said on Tuesday it could keep offer Iran a $15 billion lifeline if the US agrees, in a final bid to keep a nuclear deal alive.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the credit arrangement would see Iran receive $15 billion until the end of the year.

This would be in "exchange [for] a credit line guaranteed by oil in return for, one, a return to the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) ...and two, security in the Gulf and the opening of negotiations on regional security and a post-2025 (nuclear programme)", Le Drian said, according to Reuters.

"All this (pre)supposes that President Trump issues waivers."

The US pulled out of a nuclear deal with Iran last year, which had provided Tehran with sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear ambitions.

Since President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal, Washington has issued tough new sanctions on Iran, leading to tensions in the region and particularly the Gulf waters where sanctions have been seized.

Iran has rejected talks with the US while sanctions remain in place.

European countries are attempting to keep the deal alive but are wary of crossing US sanctions.

But Iran said it would be willing to comply with the 2015 nuclear deal in exchange for the credit lifeline or sell its oil.

"Iran... will return to full implementation of the JCPOA only if it is able to sell its oil and to fully benefit from the income from these sales," said Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.

"The French proposal goes in that direction," he was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

"Returning to full implementation of the JCPOA is subject to receiving $15 billion over a period of four months, otherwise the process of Iran reducing its commitments will continue."

"I don't think the European countries will be able to take an effective step before Friday... so we will take the third step," he said.

Iran has increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond the maximum set by the deal and announced it had exceeded a cap on the level of enrichment of its stocks.