Japan Denies Reports On Proposing $18.4Bln Loan To Iran For Compliance With JCPOA - Gov't

TOKYO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st October, 2019) The Japanese government has denied reports that, together with France, it has proposed a joint plan to provide Iran with a loan of about $18.4 billion if Tehran returned to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"The messages do not correspond to the reality," Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said at a briefing in Tokyo on Monday.

The Mainichi newspaper has earlier reported that the government of Japan decided to support France's initiative announced this summer to provide Iran with assistance in the amount of $15 billion after Tehran demanded an increase in loan volumes to compensate for the negative impact of tougher sanctions, and increase this amount to about $18.42 billion.

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 summer.

Macron had urged Trump to consider steps that would allow Tehran to increase oil exports, which could finally help Iran's ailing economy. The idea was to let Iran sell at least 700,000 barrels of oil per day, which is almost two times higher than its current oil export. The second point of this plan was to provide a loan of about $15 billion to Iran, so that the country could use the hard Currency bypassing US sanctions.

This information was later confirmed by Iranian Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, who noted that the resumption of Tehran's implementation of the nuclear deal depended on that amount's provision.

The 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 severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief. In 2018, the United States abandoned its conciliatory policy on Iran, withdrawing from the JCPOA and hitting Iranian petroleum industries with sanctions, prompting criticism from its allies in Europe.