France wants to explore talks on lifting sanctions on oil-producing nations Iran and Venezuela to ease global energy prices, a French presidency official told Reuters on Monday.
“There are resources elsewhere that need to be explored,” the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany.
The US and Iran are returning to indirect negotiations that will now be held in Doha, Qatar, instead of Vienna. Negotiations stalled over the US refusal to lift the terror designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). But Tehran has now dropped its demand to have the designation lifted.
“So there is a knot that needs to be untied if applicable … to get Iranian oil back on the market,” the French official said. “We have Venezuelan oil that also needs to come back to the market.”
The Biden administration recently eased some minor sanctions on Venezuela, but there is still a long way to go until the country’s oil can return to the global market. The South American country has been under heavy US sanctions since 2019, when the US backed a coup attempt against President Nicolas Maduro by supporting Juan Guaido, who the US still recognizes as Venezuela’s leader despite the reality in Caracas.
French President Emmanuel Macron was heard on the sidelines of the G7 summit telling President Biden that Saudi Arabia and the UAE can barely increase oil output, signaling he wants to explore other options. Biden is expected to push the Saudis to increase oil output during a visit to the country next month, although the visit will likely be more focused on boosting Israeli-Arab cooperation against Iran.