French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says he will pay a visit to Iran upon an invitation by his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, following the conclusion of nuclear talks between Tehran and the P5+1. Referring to the invitation he said he had received from Zarif, Fabius told French radio on Wednesday that, “I told him (Zarif) I would go to Iran, so I will go to Iran.”
He did not, however, specify when the trip would take place. He made the remarks a day after Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – concluded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which will put limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The Iranian sources have yet to comment on this report. Fabius also pointed to the significance of business cooperation between Tehran and Paris. “Trade is very important. It fosters growth. It’s important for the Iranians, it’s important for us,” he said. French companies, including giant automakers PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault, and energy giant Total, which had a strong presence in Iran before the enforcement of anti-Iran sanctions, have recently shown willingness to resume their activities in the Islamic Republic after the removal of the sanctions.
Representatives from French employers’ federation MEDEF are also slated to visit Iran in September in a bid to restore relations. Some 107 representatives from the MEDEF traveled to Iran early last year to try to revive business ties with the country. Bilateral trade between Iran and France plunged from four billion euros (4.4 billion dollars) in 2004 to just 500 million euros in 2013, according to French statistics.