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France , Iran to  Sign Several Deals
Domestic Economy

France , Iran to Sign Several Deals

France and Iran will sign several agreements, including on air transportation, during a visit by President Hassan Rouhani to Paris next week, the French presidency said on Tuesday.

France has a long history of commercial, political and social links with Iran. But France also took one of the hardest lines of the six powers negotiating an agreement on curtailing Iran’s nuclear program, Reuters reported.

However, French officials have said they do not believe that will hurt its business in Iran and potential deals are likely to back that opinion.

“Several accords will be signed by French and Iranian ministers covering a variety of sectors, in particular political dialogue, economic cooperation, air transport, health and agriculture,” President Francois Hollande’s office said in a statement.

A senior French economic and political delegation headed to Tehran in mid-September to lay the groundwork for the first business contracts between France and Iran since an accord to limit its nuclear program was struck in July.

France’s main business lobby group, Medef, sent a delegation comprising more than 100 firms to Iran. It included such companies as oil major Total, planemaker Airbus and car manufacturer Peugeot.

Officials say Paris may initially secure deals in areas that were not specifically hit by European Union and US sanctions, most notably in agriculture and livestock, where France has relatively little activity in Iran.

The lifting of sanctions imposed on Iran by the West could begin in the first quarter of 2016.

President Rouhani will be in the French capital from Nov 16-17. Speaking on RFI radio, Iran’s Ambassador to France Ali Ahani said Tehran expected a great deal from the visit.

“We are preparing certain agreements and memorandums of cooperation in industry in general, automobile, the energy sector which is important ... in the air and rail transport sectors. There are a lot of contacts in the automobile sector and things are progressing. I’m optimistic in different fields.”

Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said in June about $80 billion worth of business were up for grabs in the transport sector, including the renewal of the country’s air fleet.

 

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