21st Mar 2018

Iranian president targets Europe business deals

  • Iranian president Rouhani (l) with Italian PM Matteo Renzi (r) in Rome, on 26 January. (Photo: Iranian presidency)

Less than two weeks after the suspension of UN, US and EU sanctions, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is reaping the rewards during a visit to Italy and France.

Accompanied by a delegation of 120 business leaders, Rouhani will be in France on Wednesday and Thursday (27-28 January) and is expected to sign an €18.5 billion deal to buy 114 Airbus aircraft.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He will also meet French business leaders involved in carmaking, construction, infrastructure, water and waste treatment as well as in the petrol and gas sectors, and several deals could be announced.

In Italy on Monday and Tuesday, the Iranian president closed several business deals worth €17 billion. Most notably, the Saipem company signed a memorandum of understanding for gas and oil projects worth €3.5 billion.

He also signed 17 cooperation accords with Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi. The agreement covers industry, mining, the health sector, banking, shipbuilding and infrastructures.

Renzi, who said that the visit was "just the beginning" in relations between Italy and Iran, announced he would travel to Iran in the coming months.

Unusual arrangements

After years of Western sanctions Iran is set to modernise its economy and industry. Europe, once Iran's main trade partner, is trying to position itself.

On 17 January the EU energy commissioner said an EU delegation would travel to Iran soon to explore possible cooperation on nuclear, oil, gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Iranian president's visit has come with some unusual arrangements. On Tuesday, antique nude statues in Rome's Capitol museum were covered to avoid shocking the delegation.

In Paris, the meeting between Rouhani and president Francois Hollande will be held between lunch and dinner, because the two leaders' offices could not agree on whether to have wine on the table or not.

Despite the political will and economic appetite, business leaders are waiting to see how the relation with Iran will evolve.

Sanctions were lifted because Iran complied with demands on its nuclear military programme. But if it stops respecting its commitments, sanctions would be imposed again.

"There is a risk," a business source told French daily Liberation. "Everyone goes [to Iran] because you have to be there. But the reverse gear is ready to be activated."

EU explores business deals in Iran

The lifting of sanctions against Iran after it complied with an international nuclear deal could open oil, gas, and industrial markets for EU companies.

Greek PM strenghtens ties with Iran

Alexis Tsipras was the first EU leader to go to Tehran since the embargo was lifted. He said Iran had a role to play in "stabilising the region".

EU visit to Iran designed to reassure banks

High-level EU trip designed to reassure international banks on doing business with Islamic Republic. Officials said won’t have time to meet human rights activists.

Merkel in Paris for eurozone reform talks

Angela Merkel - who started her fourth term as Germany's chancellor earlier this week - is wasting no time on big issues like eurozone reforms. On Friday she is meeting Emmanuel Macron where the two will seek common ground.

VW dismisses complaints on Dieselgate fix

'I think customers who want to get information (...) are able to receive information if they want," VW management board member Hiltrud Werner told EUobserver. Consumer groups disagree.

News in Brief

  1. Separatist activist renounces Catalonia leadership candidacy
  2. EU puts conditions on Bayer-Monsanto merger
  3. Hard Brexit would hit poorer Irish households hardest
  4. Finland hosts secretive North Korean talks
  5. EU to unveil 3% tax on digital giants
  6. German elected S&D leader in European Parliament
  7. Germany: nearly €350m child benefit goes abroad
  8. Norway's far-right doubles support as minister resigns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. EU praises Turkey on migrant deal despite Greek misery
  2. Judicial reforms 'restore balance', Poland tells EU
  3. Whistleblower fears for life as US arrest Malta bank chair
  4. Behind the scenes at Monday's EU talks on Russia
  5. US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions
  6. EU mulls coercion to get refugee kids' fingerprints
  7. Five east European states prevent new CAP consensus
  8. EU to probe UK 'election-rigging' firm