PARIS – France’s hard line towards Tehran at nuclear negotiations will not hurt its businesses when they return to Iran after sanctions are lifted, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday.
Next week Fabius will make the first visit to Iran by a French foreign minister in 12 years, following the deal major powers struck with Iran to curb its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. Despite a long history of commercial, political and social links with Iran – Iran’s revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei even
lived in exile near Paris – France took one of the hardest lines of the six powers negotiating the accord. “It’s true that France was very firm,” Fabius told France Inter radio. “Will French firms be penalized? My answer is no because in the past we had an important presence in Iran. Our (expertise) is excellent in a lot of fields and the Iranians are serious. You know in foreign policy, I think you lose nothing in being respected.”