A team of entrepreneurs from France will meet on Monday with business leaders in Iran in one of the largest foreign trade missions that have visited the Islamic Republic since Tehran won the easing of some of the economic sanctions placed against them by the U.S., the European Union and others.
The prospect that commercial restrictions will be relaxed has increased the appetite of businesses in France that are eager to win the confidence back of business in the gas- and oil-producing republic of more than 80 million people. Some French firms previously had some extensive operations inside Iran.
The delegation, consisting of over 100 executives who are members of the French Medef Bosses Organization will visit Iran from February 2-5 and will meet with the members of the Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industries and Agriculture in Iran on Monday, announced the official news agency IRNA.
A source from the French Embassy inside Tehran told reporters that the visit was only exploratory and that nothing would be signed in this first visit. The source said the French delegation was scouting for potential cooperation and the possibly of reviving their former presence in Iran.
The news agency Fars, which is semi-official, reported that Mehhi Mir Aboutalebi, Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization’s Deputy Head said the French delegation included business executives from automobile, mining, water, energy, electricity, railways, aviation, maritime, roads, banking, tourism and financial institutes.
Mir Aboutalebi has said he believes the French delegation was the biggest to visit the Islamic Republic from a country in Europe since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, reported Fars.
The TPO Deputy Head added that the delegation would participate in talks with the chief of staff for President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s head of the Foreign Investments Organization.
Under the interim deal agreed to in November, between six of the world powers and Iran, the Islamic Republic agreed not produce uranium that is 20% enriched by January 20.
In return, the world powers would relax some of the sanctions that were imposed that were placed when it was suspected Iran was developing nuclear arms.
Over a six-month period, Iran can spend unfrozen funds in the amount of $4.2 billion.