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Italy's Renzi says new business accords with Iran 'just the beginning'

Iran President Hassan Rouhani (L) talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Campidoglio palace in Rome, Italy, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

ROME (Reuters) - Business agreements Italy signed with Iran on Monday are “just the beginning” for the two countries, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said.

Renzi was speaking alongside Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was in Rome at the start of his first visit to Europe, which came less than two weeks after crippling economic sanctions on Tehran were lifted.

A government source said the two countries would sign deals worth up to 17 billion euros ($18.42 billion) during Rouhani’s 48-hour stay in Italy.

Reporting by Isla Binnie, editing by Crispian Balmer