Trump Reportedly Considering Giving a $15bn Lifeline to Iran

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a French plan to allow a $15 billion credit for Iran should it come back and comply with the Iran nuclear deal, according to U.S. and foreign officials cited in a Daily Beast report.

The plan was originally floated by French officials but was contingent on American approval of issuing waivers for its sanctions. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said earlier this month that the credit line would be backed by Iran’s oil revenues, and that negotiations on the matter were ongoing, Business Insider reported.

Four people with knowledge of the matter said to The Daily Beast that Trump was entertaining the proposition, which would be a turn from his prior position on the matter. Trump’s rhetoric towards the Iranian regime has mostly unwavered – from slapping heavy sanctions against Iran, to successfully pulling the U.S. out of the nuclear deal dating back to former President Barack Obama’s administration in 2015.

But Trump has recently appeared to open to the idea of making a deal with Iran – a similar position he conveyed to the North Korean regime. “I do believe they’d like to make a deal,” Trump said on Wednesday, adding that he believed “Iran has tremendous potential.”

“They’re proud of their people,” Trump said. “And we’re not looking for regime change. We hope that we can make a deal, and if we can’t make a deal, that’s fine too. But I think they have to make a deal.”

Sanctions against Iran have largely crippled its economy and isolated it from world markets. Iran, which heavily relies on its export of 2.3 million barrels of oil per day, saw this number plummet to 1.1 million barrels in March, according to SVB Energy International. Iran’s currency of the rial has also sunk to the U.S. dollar, forcing the country to enact regulatory reforms and the creation of numerous exchange rates to curb the black market, Business Insider adds.

As the U.S. enacted more sanctions against a “wide range of terrorists and their supporters” that include Iran’s militant arm on Tuesday, the regime said it would not negotiate unless the sanctions are lifted. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the country is preparing to restart its highly enriched uranium production, a claim that critics say is one step closer to a potential nuclear weapon.

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