ROME – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived Monday in Rome on the first state visit to Europe by an Iranian president in almost two decades, eager for foreign investments after the lifting of international sanctions.
The four-day visit to Italy and France is part of efforts by Iran to reach out to its old partners following the implementation of a landmark
deal on curbing Iran’s nuclear activities. The trip was originally planned for November but postponed by the attacks in Paris. Europe was Iran’s largest trading partner before the sanctions, and a range of business and trade deals is expected, including with Airbus for the purchase of new aircraft. The trip is also aimed at expanding tourism as Rouhani’s administration is planning to diversify its revenue sources. Rouhani met first with Italian President Sergio Matterella, and was scheduled to meet later with the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and on Wednesday with Pope Francis. In France, he is to be welcomed by President Francois Hollande.