Iran’s forex policy not influenced by French offer of $15bn credit line: CBI Gov.

TEHRAN, Sep. 04 (MNA) – Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said on Wednesday that efforts to supply foreign currency resources are in progress irrespective of a French proposal for the launch of a $15 billion credit line for oil purchases from Iran.

Abdonnaser Hemmati said the proposal put forward by France to establish a $15 billion credit line for oil purchases from Iran was only part of the European efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal and convince Tehran to avoid taking the next step in reducing its commitments under the JCPOA.

The CBI has devised plans to obtain the required foreign currency supplies regardless of the European offer, he underlined.

Hemmati also noted that the Central Bank has made arrangements to allocate foreign currency for the import of basic commodities, fulfill the country’s necessary demands, and regulate the forex market according to plans.

Following his extensive talks in Paris on ways to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, France's foreign minister Le Drian on Tuesday said talks with Iran over the creation of credit lines guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues were continuing.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told reporters on Wednesday in Slovenia that the focus of talks with the French side is on oil sale and ways to facilitate Iran's free access to its revenues.

“Iran has repeatedly stated that it will resume full implementation of its commitments to the JCPOA only when it can freely sell its oil and fully access its oil revenues. France’s initiative is exactly about this issue,” Araghchi said.

“Europe should either purchase Iran’s oil, or provide us with a $15 billion letter of credit, which can in fact be considered as pre-purchasing our oil,” he added.

“After receiving the $15 billion package, Iran is ready to hold talks with the remaining signatories to the JCPOA; but the truth is that there are still serious differences in opinions between the two sides on the agenda of these talks,” he said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not, under any circumstances, negotiate with any side over its red lines,” Araghchi stressed.

The Iranian diplomat then voiced doubt that European countries could take an effective measure to live up to their commitments before September 7, which is Iran’s deadline for taking the third step in scaling down commitments to the JCPOA. He said Iran would thus take the step on the exact date.

As a first step, Iran increased its enriched uranium stockpile to beyond the 300 kilograms set by the JCPOA. Next, it announced that it had begun enriching uranium to purity rates beyond the JCPOA-limit of 3.76 percent.

Araghchi then dismissed rumors over the possibility of a meeting between President Rouhani and President Trump on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting, saying “such a meeting is by no means on agenda. As Mr. Rouhani has stressed, not only there is no chance for a bilateral meeting with Trump, but also, there won’t be any grounds for the presence of US in Iran’s talks with the remaining sides to the JCPOA as long as Washington has not returned to the deal and lifted all nuclear sanctions against Iran.”

HJ/FNA 13980613000752

News Code 149713

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