France considers $15B bailout package for Iran to salvage nuclear accord: report

France considers $15B bailout package for Iran to salvage nuclear accord: report
© Getty Images

France is considering offering Iran a $15 billion financial bailout package in exchange for compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, The New York Times reported Monday.

The letter of credit would give Iran access to hard currency at a time when it is being frozen out of global oil markets.


The reported deal stems from a visit by an Iranian delegation to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronNATO is not brain dead yet Trump, NATO chief to meet at White House Macron: NATO experiencing 'brain death' MORE.

Macron has declined to provide any details of the negotiations, according to the Times.

It is unclear how the Trump administration would react to Macron's reported plan given the United States' commitment to imposing "maximum pressure" on Tehran.

Failure to secure American support could complicate any potential deal, as European banks may not want to risk U.S. sanctions, according to the Times.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era agreement, which promised sanctions relief for Tehran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program. As a result, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran last year, while European nations have continued to negotiate with Tehran.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian emphasized Tuesday that U.S. support would be crucial to the aid deal.

The idea is “to exchange a credit line guaranteed by oil in return for, one, a return to the JCPOA...and two, security in the Gulf and the opening of negotiations on regional security and a post-2025 (nuclear program),” le Drian told reporters, according to Reuters. “All this (pre)supposes that President Trump issues waivers.”

Le Drian was referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran deal.

Waivers would allow European banks to supply the credit to Iran without fear of U.S. sanctions.

Iran has said that if negotiations with Europe fail it will ramp up its nuclear activity.

Iranian officials have hinted that they might increase their enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity, according to the Times, a move that would bring Iran closer to producing bomb-grade fuel.

-- Updated at 12:15 p.m.