Reporting "Asre Khodro", French President François Hollande decided having wine with lunch is more important than breaking bread with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during an official visit to Paris.
"We are ready to turn the page on a new relationship between our countries", Rouhani said in a speech to a Franco-Iranian forum at the headquarters of the Medef business federation. Iran's human rights record, including hundreds of executions, adds another note of caution for France which presses for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. "Today, the problem in Syria is not a question of people, but terrorism, Islamic State and the people who are buying oil from it, the same ones who are giving them weapons and supporting them politically".
Rouhani is to hold talks with President Francois Hollande which are expected to include discussions on Iran's role in Syria, where it is backing President Bashar al-Assad in a war that has killed 260,000 people. Rouhani condemned the sanctions that his country was under, saying history has shown that they "never worked". The Italian government and private companies inked more than a dozen accords with Iran covering the metals industry, oil services, rail transport and shipbuilding. British Airways officials visited Tehran earlier this week to discuss the resumption of flights, AP reported, citing Mohammad Khodakarami, the deputy head of Iran's civil aviation authority. He did not elaborate. "They tortured my mother", she said.
Rohani said the United States, the European Union, and other world powers would also have to keep their end of the bargain. Iran bought its aircraft from Boeing when the USA and Iran had close ties before the 1979 Islamic revolution. The two plan to produce 200,000 cars a year at a plant near Tehran, but complete details were not immediately clear. Airbus announced from Paris it signed an agreement with Iran Air for 118 new aircraft for the single-aisle A320 line.
The Iranian market reached a peak of 1.6 million vehicles in 2011. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a meeting with French Senate President Gerard Larcher, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. "The country is not starting from scratch". He explained that socio-political security, rich energy resources, educated workforce, and good relations with regional countries make Iran an interesting place for investment. Yet clouds hung over the historic outreach trip. And the multibillion-dollar deals have stirred opposition from rights groups and activists. He said: "Iran will be committed to all his promises in JCPOA and its appendices until the other side does so". However, Mr Rouhani criticised European nations' response to the refugee crisis, pointing out that Iran had welcomed 3 million refugees without complaint, compared to the just over a million across Europe.