SNCF

Transportation Infrastructure
France

"France and Iran hailed a set of business tie-ups and export deals on Thursday including the sale of dozens of Airbus planes and a car factory revamp that re-ignites a decades-old relationship between Tehran and carmaker Peugeot. The deals, some of which were not yet finalised, were announced at a Franco-Iranian business forum attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and a host of ministers and business leaders. The visit follows a deal between Iran and the west on the middle-eastern country's nuclear program that resulted in the lifting earlier this month of trade sanctions. With four business arrangements flagged by France's main industry body including the PSA Peugeot Citroen tie-up and a plan to sell over 100 Airbus passenger planes, French Prime Minister Valls said there would also be agreements signed in the areas of health, agriculture and the environment. The deals come despite a background of continued diplomatic tension with France, one of Iran's fiercest critics during the sanctions-lifting talks, and as human rights protests against the visit took place in the French capital. 'Let's forget past differences and start anew,' Rouhani said in a speech to the forum. Exactly what stage the Airbus deal was at remained unclear on Thursday, but French officials said Iran was putting the finishing touches to the deal... Pierre Gattaz, head of France's Medef employers association, said French national railway operator SNCF and aluminum company Fives were also expected to unveil deals. 'Iran's needs are enormous,' Gattaz told reporters. 'Iranians need everything. The country is not starting from scratch, it's got a very educated workforce, a real development potential.'" (Reuters, “Protesters march, France eyes business deals as Iran's Rouhani visits,” 1/28/2016)