EghtesadOnline: Japan and France have proposed a joint plan to provide Iran with a loan of about $18.4 billion to be secured by oil if Tehran returns to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on its nuclear program, Japanese media reported.
According to the Mainichi newspaper, the government of Japan has decided to support France's initiative announced this summer to provide Iran with a credit line of $15 billion after Tehran demanded an increase to $18.4 billion in loan volumes to compensate for the negative impact of tougher US sanctions.
The media outlet added that the Japanese authorities were hoping this would smooth out the possible dissatisfaction with Tokyo's plan to send two ships belonging to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to the Strait of Hormuz to protect commercial vessels amid intensified tensions in the region.
In addition, according to the newspaper's sources, the Japanese government believes that financial support could help start a dialogue between Iran and the United States on the nuclear issue, according to Financial Tribune.
It is assumed that loan would be paid off by oil revenues and the targeted use of finance will be limited to the purchase of food and medicine.
The plan to reduce tension between Washington and Tehran was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron at a meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G7 summit in the summer.
Macron had urged Trump to consider steps that would allow Tehran to increase oil exports, which could help Iran's ailing economy.
The idea was to let Iran sell at least 700,000 barrels of oil per day, which is reportedly double its current oil export. The second point of the plan was to provide a loan of about $15 billion to Iran, so that the country could use the hard currency to mitigate the impact of US sanctions.
JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and the European Union. It required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and downgrade its enriched uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief.
In 2018, the US abandoned its conciliatory policy on Iran, withdrawing from JCPOA and hitting Iranian oil industries with sanctions, prompting a backlash from its allies in Europe.