Iran’s Rouhani visits France to sign major trade deals

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits France to sign major trade deals following lifting of sanctions imposed over Iran

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) attends a meeting with French ministers and representatives of the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF) in Paris on January 27, 2016.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will approve economic deals on Thursday during his visit to France following the lifting of economic sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear programme.    

After his tour in Italy, where he signed deals for steel and pipelines said to cost between 15 and 17 billion euros ($18.5 billion), Rouhani kicked off his Paris visit on Wednesday by meeting with top French leaders.

French President Francois Hollande is expected to receive his Iranian counterpart with military honours, however, the visit was not described as an official one.   

Iran had announced its intention to buy 144 passenger planes from European aircraft maker Airbus.  

However, only letters of intention will be signed because some sanctions are still in place, according to a source involved in the Airbus plane deal.  

President Rouhani will also seek for the return of French car maker Peugeot to Iran, in collaboration with Iranian Khodro industrial group, a French statement reported.  

Starting in 2017, Peugeot will produce about 200,000 vehicles a year in Iran after pulling out from the country in 2012 amid imposed sanctions. 

In a separate business deal, French petroleum giant Total, is said to be interested in buying Iranian crude oil.

The visit will also touch on Iran’s role in Syria. Peace talks are due to start in Geneva this week will be aimed at taking the first tentative approach towards ending a crisis that has killed at least 260,000 people and left millions in need of humanitarian aid.  

Rouhani’s visit to France would be the first visit by an Iranian president since 1999. Iran is trying to revive its economic and diplomatic ties with Europe.