France explores a credit line for Iran

France explores a credit line for Iran

France has proposed to extend to Iran a credit line of US$15 billion for oil “pre-purchases” in exchange for full compliance with the nuclear deal.

According to conservative lawmaker Ali Motahari, the plan was negotiated during phone discussions between France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and a recent meeting between Macron and Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif. 

France has proposed to transfer the money of the US$15-billion credit line in three separate installments if Iran returns to full compliance with the nuclear deal and withdraws threats from previous months that it would ramp up its nuclear activities, according to Motahari, Bloomberg reports.

Some European diplomats have reportedly started to back the French proposal to provide money to Iran in exchange for full compliance with the nuclear deal, officials with knowledge of the issue told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

On Monday, Iran’s Zarif said that his country would breach more parts of its commitment under the nuclear deal if Europe fails to protect Iran from the US sanctions.

“It is meaningless to continue unilateral commitments to the deal if we don’t enjoy its benefits as promised by the deal’s European parties,” Reuters quoted Zarif as saying in Moscow.

Iran has offered the European Union two options to keep the nuclear deal alive as the EU keeps failing to find a way to support the Iranian economy amid US sanctions, Bloomberg reported last week. The options include either asking the United States to reinstate sanction waivers for the countries that import Iranian crude oil, or providing a credit line to Tehran. The offer was made public by Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araghchi.

Araghchi said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had shared the options with his French counterpart Macron during a recent series of phone conversations.

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