Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Abbas Araghchi
Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Abbas AraghchiREUTERS

Iran is willing to return to the negotiating table with European powers and comply with the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, if the US backs a French offer to give Tehran 14 billion Euros ($15.4 billion) in credit.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, one of the architects of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), said Wednesday morning that his government was prepared to “return to the nuclear deal” – but only if it would be granted the line of credit and be able to spend its income “without any limitation”, a reference to Iran’s demand that the US waive its sanctions on Tehran.

The Islamic republic will comply with the 2015 nuclear deal “if and only if Iran is allowed to sell its oil and use the income earned by oil exports without any limitation then Tehran would return to the nuclear deal," Araghchi told reporters.

While Iran was prepared to return to compliance with the 2015 deal if its demands are met, Tehran will “not renegotiate the nuclear deal”.

The Trump administration has called for changes to the nuclear deal, conditioning sanctions relief on Iran’s agreement to negotiate a more comprehensive deal.

On Tuesday, France offered 14 billion Euros in credit, backed by Iranian oil, if Tehran complies with the nuclear deal.

But French officials acknowledged that any such arrangement would require US support.

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)," French foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian told reporters.

"All this (pre)supposes that President Trump issues waivers."

Following France’s offer Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif declared that Iran would further cut its commitments under the deal.

Iran has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal signed with world powers in retaliation for US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement last May.

Trump later imposed two rounds of sanctions on Iran, the latest of which went into effect in November of 2018.

The European signatories have vowed to help Iran evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US, shielding companies doing business with the rogue state in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.