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Trump flirts with $ 15 billion in payout for Iran, sources say



President Donald Trump has left the impression with foreign officials, members of his administration and others involved in Iran negotiations that he is actively considering a French plan to extend a $ 15 billion credit line to the Iranians if Tehran comes back into compliance Obama-era nuclear agreement.

In recent weeks, Trump has shown openness to entertain President Emmanuel Macron's plan, according to four sources with knowledge of Trump's talks with the French leader. Two of those sources said Foreign Ministry officials, including Secretary Mike Pompeo, are also open to weighing the French proposal, which would effectively facilitate the financial sanctions regime the Trump administration has applied to Tehran for more than a year.

Agreements proposed by France would compensate Iran for oil sales disrupted by US sanctions. A large part of Iran's economy relies on cash from oil sales. Most of this money is frozen in bank accounts worldwide. The $ 1

5 billion credit limit would be guaranteed by Iranian oil. In exchange for cash, Iran must come back to comply with the nuclear treaty it signed with the world's great powers in 2015. Tehran must also agree not to threaten the Persian Gulf security or to hinder shipping in that area. Finally, Tehran would have to commit to regional talks in the Middle East in the future.

Although Trump has been skeptical of helping Iran without preconditions, the president has generally hinted at transparency in considering Macron's pitch to position the Iranian government – a move aimed at bringing the Iranians to the negotiating table and to save the nuclear deal that Trump and his former national security adviser John Bolton worked so hard to torpedo.

At the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France last month, Trump told reporters that Iran may need a "short-term letter of credit or loan" that could "get them over a very rough correction." "


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