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Trump Seriously Considering Macron’s Iran Initiative

Sept. 12, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Daily Beast, among other sources, reports that President Donald Trump is giving serious consideration to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to resolve the Iran situation and preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with Iran, originally signed in 2015 between Iran, and the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.  President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018.

The French plan calls for the extension of a credit line of $15 billion guaranteed by Iranian oil, if Iran comes back into compliance with the JCPOA. Iran would also have to agree not to “threaten the security of the Persian Gulf or to impede maritime navigation in the area and commit to regional Middle East talks in the future.” And the proposal would require the Trump Administration to issue waivers on Iranian sanctions.

The Daily Beast claims that four sources in the administration have indicated this and that two of those sources said that Secretary Mike Pompeo is also open to weighing the French proposal.

For his part, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during his Sept. 11 telephone call with French President Macron that the moves that Iran has made to gradually withdraw from some of the provisions of the nuclear agreement could be reversed.  “Iran’s third step is under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and it is reversible,” said President Rouhani, according to his presidential website. He also said that “if agreements with Europe are finalized, we are ready to return to our JCPOA obligations.” He called the JCPOA “a great opportunity for Europe to invest in the Iranian economy,” and he urged the European Union and France in particular to take steps to preserve it.

Laura Rozen, the top U.S. reporter on Iran who has earned much credibility over the years, also wrote Sept. 5 in Al-Monitor that the French mediation effort is live, and may result in a meeting between Presidents Trump and Rouhani on the sidelines of the United National General Assembly later this month. Rozen did not write that the Trump Administration might embrace the JCPOA, as the Beast did.

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