France sought Wednesday to relaunch diplomatic ties with Iran in the hope of boosting business in the country, following a key nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers reached earlier this month.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called his one-day visit to Iran “an important trip” and tried to soften tensions created by France’s hard line on the nuclear issue.
“It is true that in the past few years, for reasons everybody knows, ties have been weaker. But now, with the nuclear agreement, we hope that things are going to change,” Fabius told reporters ahead of a series of meetings with Iranian top officials, including president Hassan Rouhani.
Iran’s state news agency IRNA described the visit — the first by a French foreign minister in over a decade — as the start of a “new era” in bilateral ties. Rouhani told Fabius that the nuclear deal could “bring better relations with Europe,” IRNA reported.
Fabius said he carried an invitation from French President Francois Hollande for Rouhani to visit France in November and that a French economic delegation is expected to arrive in Iran by the end of summer.
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