France sees Iran opportunity if sanctions are lifted - Moscovici

PARIS Sun Feb 2, 2014 2:31pm EST

PARIS Feb 2 (Reuters) - France will have "significant commercial opportunities" in Iran if sanctions are lifted, but Tehran first has to prove its good faith in abiding by nuclear undertakings, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Sunday.

Moscovici was speaking on LCI television as a French business delegation travelled to the Iranian capital for meetings with officials and business leaders.

The three-day visit is intended to "convey the message that, if the situation improves, there will be significant commercial opportunities for France in Iran", Moscovici said.

"But the underlying message should be read as an (encouragement) to the Iranians to keep their word," he said, adding: "It's a very sensitive dossier."

In return for a pledge by Tehran to freeze key parts of its nuclear programme, world powers including France agreed in November to a six-month suspension of sanctions on selected goods and services. The easing is only now beginning to take effect.

The prospect of a relaxation of trade restrictions has whetted the appetite of French firms eager to win back business in a country of around 80 million people where some previously had extensive operations.

Renault said last week it had resumed shipments of parts to Iran, and that it expected production of the Tondar, an Iranian version of Renault's low-cost Logan model, to pick up progressively throughout the first half of 2014.

Along with French companies in sectors ranging from energy to food, the carmaker and its domestic rival PSA Peugeot Citroen are keen to resume business in Iran and reclaim the significant market share they enjoyed until sanctions were tightened.

Over 100 French companies - including both carmakers - are on the delegation. Media reports have said it also includes GDF Suez, Alstom, Veolia Environnement and Safran. (Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Comments (1)
ChangeIranNow wrote:
The Institute of Science and International Security set forth its recommendations for the minimum conditions it deems necessary to achieve a workable final agreement with suitable verification, in order to have confidence that Iran’s atomic program will be beyond use for weaponization. This would include the dismantling of thousands of centrifuges. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made it abundantly clear that Iran will “not under any circumstances” agree to dismantle any of its centrifuges. Why isn’t President Obama just as clear in publicly declaring what the United States will require in order to ease any more existing sanctions and desist from imposing even more onerous sanctions?

Feb 03, 2014 7:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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