Japan and France have put forward a joint plan to give a credit line totaling around $18.5 billion. As a prerequisite for this, Iran needs to fully comply with a nuclear deal it signed with world powers in 2015, Japan’s leading newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported on Sunday.
Earlier this year, France offered to provide the Islamic Republic with a total of $15 billion in financial aid following Iran’s call on the European parties to the deal to help offset the negative impact of US sanctions and increase lending.
Now, the Japanese government has decided to support the French initiative and increase the sum to $18.45 billion.
The newspaper cited Japanese government officials as saying that the support plan will be used for importing food, medicine, etc. and will be guaranteed by Iranian oil.
The plan is aimed at alleviating tensions between the United States and Iran and improving the climate for the restart of negotiations between the two sides
According to the newspaper, Japan wants to reduce Iran’s dissatisfaction with its financial aid offer. In addition, the Japanese government hopes that the financial support could encourage the initiation of dialogue on Iran's nuclear program with Tehran.
French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly called on his US counterpart Donald Trump to take action to increase Iranian oil exports to at least 700,000 barrels a day. In addition, France proposed offering $ 15 billion in credit to Iran to circumvent US sanctions and use a hard currency.
Later, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi confirmed that the sum is $15 billion.
Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear deal last year in May and reimposed tough sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
After exercising “strategic patience” for a year, Iran began to gradually scale back its nuclear commitments to the deal in May and called on France, German and Britain to speed up their efforts to salvage the agreement by shielding Iranian economy from US sanctions.
The European parties have repeatedly said they are committed to saving the accord, but their efforts have so far borne little fruit.
Tehran has already hit back three times with countermeasures in response to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
On July 1, Iran said it had increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond a 300-kilogram maximum set by the deal, and a week later, it announced it had exceeded a 3.67-percent cap on the purity of its uranium stocks.
In its latest move, it fired up advanced centrifuges to boost its enriched uranium stockpiles on September 7.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that Iran took those steps because it ran out of patience.
Zarif warned that Iran would further roll back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, if the European parties to the accord fail to live up to their obligations.