French oil major Total has two months to seek exemption from US sanctions after Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran’s oil minister said on Wednesday. Bijan Zanganeh, told state news agency SHANA that failure to secure an exemption would mean that China’s state-owned CNPC could take over Total’s stake in the South Pars gas project, lifting its own interest from 30 percent to more than 80 percent. “Total has 60 days to negotiate with the US government,” Zanganeh said, adding that the French government could also lobby Washington. Total signed a contract in 2017 to develop phase 11 of the South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion, Reuters said. Tehran has repeatedly hailed the contract as a symbol of the nuclear deal’s success.