Iran was putting the finishing touches on Thursday to a deal to buy over 100 Airbus passenger jets, French officials said during a visit to Paris by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani aimed at reviving business ties despite diplomatic differences.
Rouhani told French business leaders after arriving in France on Wednesday that Iran was open for investment as he continued his first trip abroad since Iran’s sanctions-ending nuclear accord with world powers took effect.
Rouhani is due to deliver a speech to business leaders on Thursday at a Franco-Iranian forum.
Pierre Gattaz, head of France’s Medef employers association, said he expected four major contracts to be agreed with the Iranians, including the Airbus order and a joint venture between carmakers PSA Peugeot Citroen and Iran Khodro.
French national railway operator SNCF and aluminum company Fives are also expected to unveil deals, Medef said.
“Iran’s needs are enormous,” Gattaz told reporters. “Iranians need everything. The country is not starting from scratch, it’s got a very educated workforce, a real development potential.”
Gattaz said the Airbus contract could involve 114 aircraft, calling it a “very significant order”. Iran’s transport minister said an agreement had been reached to buy Airbus jets.