A trip to Tehran by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius faced a threat Tuesday of being overshadowed by a tainted blood scandal from the 1980s which killed hundreds of Iranians.
According to information reaching here from Paris earlier, France will send a delegation of 80 French companies to Tehran at the end of September.
France hopes to secure business in Iran once Western sanctions are lifted under the nuclear deal, and Fabius said last week that his tough stance in the negotiations would not stand in the way of French commercial opportunities.
The statement was made after Fabius met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Fabius said France wants to see progress in Iran. “It is true that in recent years, for reasons that everyone knows, the ties have cooled but now thanks the nuclear deal, things will be able to change”, he said.
Al-Jubeir spoke on Monday after talks with Mogherini who was in Saudi Arabia to assuage its concerns over the nuclear deal she helped broker.
The French foreign minister arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Wednesday for a day-long visit to hold talks with the country’s high-ranking officials.
“While we believe that dialogue is the way forward, states can not ignore the fact that Iran is the world’s second greatest executioner and is now threatening juvenile offenders with the death penalty ,” stated Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.
Images on social media showed protests against Fabius at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport, and flyers depicting a bloody red carpet and the pledge: “We will not forgive or forget”.
During his Iran visit, Fabius delivered an invitation from French Prime Minister Francois Hollande for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to visit Paris.
Gulf Arab officials reacted with concern to a July 18 speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that said the deal did not signal any wider shift in Iran’s policies in the Middle East, or in its relationship with Washington.
The Iranian minister said the implementation of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will pave the way for strengthening relations in transportation, energy and manufacturing cars with France.
Iran, which has always denied seeking an atomic bomb, agreed to curbs on some but not all elements of its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of UN, US and European economic sanctions. He said the agreement also aims at preventing “nuclear proliferation among other regional countries so that no one even thinks about having a nuclear bomb.”