France had traditionally maintained cordial ties with Iran, and its companies are well placed to benefit from warmer relations.
Rouhani stressed that the free zones should advance closer to their primary goal of development of export, instead of concentration on imports.
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.
What does the Iran nuclear deal mean for Canadians?
When we had to leave Iran in 2006, we were actively working at an LNG project at South Pars (field) [in southern Iran].
Striking the nuclear accord may have been the easy part…
The French minister’s 24hour visit did not go unnoticed as there were demonstrations by Iranian hardliners against France who called Fabius an “obstacle” after he had stated during the negotiations that Iran must abide by certain conditions if a deal was to be concluded.
“I am carrying a letter of invitation from Francois Hollande, the president of my country, to Hassan Rouhani, president of Iran, to visit France in November”, Fabius was quoted as saying by ISNA.
The top Iranian diplomat also hailed Fabius’s current visit, saying a French foreign minister is travelling to Tehran after 17 years within the framework of mutual relations at a ministerial level.
Fabius was acquitted in 1999 by French courts over the affair, in which people in France also died.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has been invited to visit Paris in November, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Tehran on Wednesday.
The French foreign minister’s arrival was marked by controversy in the Iranian media, however, particularly among conservatives, who demanded that the minister apologise for France’s role in the sale of HIV-contaminated blood to Iran in the 1980s, when Fabius was prime minister. French energy giant, Total, and automakers Renault and Peugeot had a strong presence in Iran before they withdrew in 2012 after sanctions were imposed over Iran’s nuclear program. “Beyond oil and gas, France was extensively involved in Iran’s manufacturing sector” until sanctions became tighter, he said.
At the foreign ministry, Zarif and Fabius said political dialogue had resumed at ministerial level. “There are a number of points on which we have differences”, Fabius said, alluding to regional conflicts in Syria and Yemen and also on Iran’s refusal to acknowledge Israel.