Iran’s President Mr Rouhani’s ‘Shopping trip’ to France

Last week’s visit by President of Iran Hassan Rouhani was a hot topic in the press. Schiller Professor Claudia Castiglioni, Dept. of International Relations and an expert in European History and Iran, gives a summary on the event.

President of Iran Rouhani

Last week, after a two-day visit in Rome that provided him with contracts for 17€ billion, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani chose Paris as second and last destination of his profitable European tour, the first one after the lifting of sanctions. The last time an Iranian President had set foot on French soil was during the time of the reformist Mohammed Khatami in the late 1990s.

The visit, welcomed by Hollande as the beginning of ‘a new chapter in the relationship’ between France and Iran, led to a number of lucrative deals, including contracts with Airbus for the purchase of 118 new commercial passenger planes, with Peugeot for the creation of a joint venture with Iran’s company Khodro worth 400€ million, and with French oil company Total for the purchase of Iran’s crude oil. If the path seems set for the re-establishment of commercial ties, divergences of approach still remain on political issues, most notably on the fight against international terrorism and on the future of Syria.

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Claudia Castiglioni

Department of International Relations and Diplomacy. Adjunct Professor European History. PhD in History of International Relations, University of Florence; Master in International Relations, University of Bologna; BA in International Relations, University of Milan. Post-doctoral Fellow in History of International Relations, University of Florence; Adjunct Lecturer, Sciences Po Paris; Calouste Gulbenkian Alumnus Fellow, SAIS – Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC; Invited Lecturer on “Iran in International System”, University of Economics, Prague.