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China National Petroleum Corp. is expected to take the lead on a $5 billion project to develop Iran's share of the world's biggest gas deposit, taking over from France's Total SA, which halted operations after U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.Total had originally agreed to take a 50.1 percent interest.Total, which finalized its agreement with Iran in July 2017, had already spent some 40 million euros ($45.7 million) on the project when Trump announced in May that the U.S. would exit the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.Total had previously withdrawn from the field in 2009 because of sanctions.
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