President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron that would see Europe float a $15 billion loan to Iran in exchange for the country returning to compliance with the deal negotiated by President Barack Obama in 2015 — a deal that Trump has repeatedly slammed and officially withdrew the U.S. from last year.
Sources told The Daily Beast that Trump is now open to supporting Macron’s plan, which would involve the French government easing the pressure of U.S. sanctions on Tehran, put in place by the Trump administration more than a year ago.
A significant portion of the Iranian economy relies on oil profits — money currently frozen in banks all over the world — and the “deal put forward by France would compensate Iran for oil sales disrupted by American sanctions.”
Along with returning to compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord, Iran would also be required to “agree not to threaten the security of the Persian Gulf or to impede maritime navigation in the area” and commit to future Middle East talks, The Daily Beast reported.
Oddly enough, Iran was complying with the nuclear agreement fleshed out under Obama until Trump scuttled the agreement by withdrawing the U.S.
Now, the president would have to undermine his own administration’s actions in order to get back to the starting point he voluntarily abandoned.
Trump has not yet formally agreed to Macron’s proposal, but several sources told The Daily Beast that they expect Trump will either cooperate with the French president or ease economic sanctions on his own.
As with all things, guessing what Trump will do is a difficult task until he finally makes a move — and even then, the president is known to do a quick turnabout, surprising those involved.
On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that he believes Tehran is ready to make a deal, though he quickly added that whether they do or not doesn’t matter:
“I do believe they’d like to make a deal. If they do, that’s great. And if they don’t, that’s great too. But they have tremendous financial difficulty, and the sanctions are getting tougher and tougher.”
Asked if he intends to ease sanctions on Iran in return for negotiations, Trump responded: “We’ll see what happens. I think Iran has a tremendous, tremendous potential.”