President Donald Trump left an impression on foreign officials, members of his administration, and others involved in the Iran negotiations that he is actively considering a French plan to expand a $ 15 billion line of credit to Iranians if Tehran returns to following the Obama-era nuclear deal.
Trump has in recent weeks shown openness to entertain President Emmanuel Macron's plan, according to four sources with knowledge of Trump's talks with the French leader. Two of the sources said that State Department officials, including Secretary Mike Pompeo, were also open to weighing the French measure, which would effectively ease the economic sanctions regime the Trump administration has applied to more than one Tehran years.
deal released by France will pay Iran for oil sales delayed by American sanctions. A large portion of the Iranian economy relies on cash from oil sales. Most of the money is frozen in bank accounts around the world. The $ 15 billion line of credit is guaranteed by Iranian oil. In exchange for cash, Iran has to return to following the national agreement it signed with major world powers in 2015. Tehran must also agree that it does not threaten Persian Gulf security or prevent maritime navigation in the area. Finally, Tehran will have to hold regional talks in the Middle East in the future.
While Trump was skeptical of helping Iran without preconditions, In the meantime, the president was in the public at least avoiding consideration of Macron's pitch for putting the Iranian government-a steps intended to help the Iranians at the table in conversation. and to save the nuclear deal that Trump and former national security manager John Bolton are working on hard to work in the torpedo.
At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France last month, Trump told reporters that Iran might need a "short-term credit or loan letter" that could "get them in a very rough patch. . "For Robert Malley, who worked on Iranian policy during the Obama administration, the visit said that Trump's" visit should have been signed with openness to Macron's idea, otherwise Zarif would not have been flying to Biarritz at the last minute. "" Obviously, Trump responded to Macron in a way that gave the French president an excuse to invite Zarif and Zarif a reason to come, "he said.
The French proposal would require The Trump administration will issue sanctions on Iran sanctions, which would be a major departure from the Trump administration's so-called "maximum pressure" campaign on the exact financial sanctions on the Tehran regime. time in office, President Barack Obama followed a disproportionate approach to bring Iranians to the negotiating table, hitting the Iranian economy with sanctions before pledging further relief just talk. Negotiations have resulted in a nuke deal by Iran that President Trump called "rotten" – and pulled the US out of its first term. largely driven by his desire for historical photo ops and to be seen as a curator. It is a passion that is so powerful that it can motivate him to turn away people who value his own administration of policy and messaging. over the past month, including while at the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France, according to four sources with knowledge of the president's talks on the deal.
Several sources told the Daily Beast that foreign officials expected Trump to cooperate. on the French deal or offer to ease some sanctions on Tehran. Meanwhile, President Trump is also considering meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September.
"I believe they want to make a deal. If they do, that's great. And if they don't, that's great," Trump told reporters Wednesday. "But they have a very difficult financial situation, and the sanctions are getting harder and harder. "Asked if he could ease sanctions against Iran to get a meeting with Iran Trump simply said:" We'll see what happens. I think Iran has enormous, enormous potential. "
A spokesperson for the State Department, White House, and Treasury did not comment on this story. A spokesman for the National Security Council referred to The Daily Beast in Wednesday's comments on Iran. Bolton also did not comment on Wednesday.
" Finally he viewed [Bolton] as a hell of a firefighter bent on fire to anyone who didn't align himself – including the president. ”
– source close to Mike Pompeo
Trump's willingness to discuss credit lines with French, Iranians and Japanese President Shinzo Abe frustrated Bolton which for months had persuaded Trump against softening his rigidity. line against regime in Tehran.
Bolton, vehemently opposed to Macron's proposal, left the Trump administration clear and on bad terms Tuesday. As he exited the door, Trump and other administration officials went out of their way to keep publicly claiming he was fired, while Bolton continued to submit other & # 39; s news outlets that he could not fire. by Trump because he quit. The former national security adviser and lifelong hawk ruffled many feathers and made several enemies in the building repeatedly tried by his senior colleagues to whip him to Trump for allegedly leaking the media.
On Tuesday afternoon, Bolton sued The Daily Beast to say that the allegations about him as a prosecutor were "false."
In a press briefing held after Bolton's release on Tuesday, neither Secretary of State Mike Pompeo nor Treasury was present. secretary Steve Mnuchin expressed many sympathy for Bolton's fallen star on Trumpworld. "Ambassador Bolton has been there many times and I disagree," Pompeo told reporters. "That's for sure, but that's true for a lot of people I interact with."
According to those who knew Pompeo well, the secretary's secretary's statement was a clear misunderstanding.
"In the end he viewed [Bolton] as a hell of a arsonist hidden in the flames on the agenda of anyone who didn't align himself – including the president," a source close to Pompeo discussed Bolton has been with the secretary in recent weeks. Pompeo believes he is among the most self-dedicated people he has ever worked with. A talented man, no doubt, but not someone willing to put his ego on the president's foreign policy agenda. ”
Whether or not the president supports Macron is unclear, as Trump is known to consider or temporarily back domestic or foreign policy initiatives, only to quickly backtrack or about face.