August 22, 2019 / 9:50 AM / a month ago

Iran is prepared to work on French nuclear deal proposals: foreign minister

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talks to the media during the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Coordinating Bureau in Caracas, Venezuela July 20, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero/File Photo

OSLO (Reuters) - Iran is prepared to work on French proposals to salvage the international nuclear deal that Tehran signed with world powers in 2015, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

“There are proposals on the table, both from the French and the Iranian side, and we are going to work on those proposals tomorrow,” he said at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.

French President Emmanuel Macron offered on Wednesday to either soften sanctions on Iran or provide “a compensation mechanism to enable the Iranian people to live better” in return for full compliance with the pact, which the United States quit last year.

Zarif added: “I’m looking forward to having a serious conversation with President Macron about possibilities to move forward.”

He had said on Monday he would meet Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris on Friday.

Zarif also addressed the United States’ efforts to create a security operation, which so far Britain, Australia and Bahrain have joined, to guard shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital gateway for the global oil industry.

“It’s clear that the U.S.’ intention..(of having a) naval presence in the Persian Gulf is to counter Iran.. Don’t expect us to remain quiet when somebody comes to our waters and threatens us,” Zarif said.

Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months after a series of attacks on international merchant vessels, which the United States has blamed on Iran, and the seizure of a British tanker. Tehran has denied the accusations.

Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis in Oslo; Writing by Tuqa Khalid in Dubai; editing by Angus MacSwan

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