Iran Will Give EU Another Two Months to Salvage Nuclear Deal, Rohani Says

Statement comes after deputy foreign minister says Tehran would only resume complying with accord under $15 billion oil credit line proposed by France, which Iran rejected as a loan

Gas flares from an oil production platform at the Soroush oilfields, Iran, 2005.
Raheb Homavandi/Reuters

Iran will give another two-month deadline to the European Union to salvage the 2015 nuclear pact, President Hassan Rohani said on Wednesday, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Rohani said that it was unlikely that an agreement would be reached with Europe in the coming days. "We will announce (cuts in commitments) which will accelerate the activities of Iran's nuclear program," Rohani was quoted as saying by Iran's state TV. "The third step (in reducing Iran's commitments) will be the most important one and it will have extraordinary effects." 

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The state-run Press TV reported that Iran rejected an offer of a $15 billion loan rather than pre-sales by European countries.

"Either Europe has to buy oil from Iran or provide Iran with the equivalent of selling oil as a credit line guaranteed by Iran's oil revenues, which in some sense means a pre-sale of oil," Fars news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi as saying..

On Monday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said talks on the credit arrangement, which would be guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues, were continuing, but U.S. approval would be crucial.

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

Iran's vital oil sales have plummeted since the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.