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Paris floats €14 bn credit line plan for Iran in last-ditch effort to salvage nuclear dea

France has proposed offering Iran credit lines worth about €14 billion until the end of the year in return for Tehran coming fully back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. But the plan is yet to receive Washington’s backing.

France’s foreign minister on Tuesday said talks with Iran over the creation of credit lines guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues were continuing, and that the plan would ultimately hinge on the US not blocking it.

The idea is “to exchange 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),” Jean-Yves le Drian told reporters.

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

An Iranian delegation was in Paris on Monday, including oil and finance officials, to fine-tune details of credit lines that would give Iran some respite from sanctions that have crippled its economy and cut off its oil exports.

European and Iranian sources confirmed the €14 billion figure to Reuters.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire will be in Washington on Tuesday in part to discuss the mechanism. One diplomat said that might be when the United States gives its response to French proposals.

At a G7 meeting in France last month, Trump appeared open to the idea of credit lines, although US officials have since ruled out lifting sanctions.

Iran says it aims to keep the nuclear deal alive but cannot abide by it indefinitely unless the European countries that signed it ensure it receives the promised economic benefits.

Tehran has called on the Europeans to accelerate their efforts to alleviate the impact of US sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani stressed on Tuesday that Iran would take its next step in scaling back its nuclear commitments by Thursday unless the Europeans keep their promises to salvage the deal.


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