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Trump: Peace Plan May be Unveiled Before Israeli Election

US President Donald Trump said that the political components of his years-in-the-making Israeli-Palestinian peace plan could be unveiled prior to Israel’s September 17 national election. In an apparent about-face, the US leader, speaking from the G7 summit in France, expressed hope that the Palestinian Authority would return to the negotiating table in order to restore some $500 million in American financial aid slashed by the White House last year. President Trump also said Monday that he was not seeking regime change in Tehran; this, after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks with top French officials on the sidelines of the summit. President Trump in May of last year withdrew the US from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal and re-imposed crippling economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Since then, tensions between Washington and Tehran have skyrocketed, with the US accusing Iran of perpetrating numerous attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, and of ordering its proxies to target American and Saudi interests in the region. Nevertheless, the European parties to the nuclear accord – France, Britain and Germany – are trying to salvage the deal by devising a financial mechanism that would circumvent US sanctions by allowing continued non-dollar trade with the mullah regime.