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France

Huge French delegation heads to Iran

media Trade Minister Matthias Fekl will lead the team to Tehran AFP/Thomas Samson

A delegation of French politicians and representatives from more than 100 firms will go to Iran on Sunday to rebuild trade ties, following a July accord to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme.

The team is led by Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll and Trade Minister Matthias Fekl, who will open a new trade office in Tehran on 22 September.

France’s largest business lobby group, the Medef, will send a delegation that includes most CAC 40 companies   including oil major Total, planemaker Airbus and car manufacturer Peugeot   as well as small and medium enterprises with sectors as wide-ranging as agriculture, finance, luxury goods, pharmaceuticals, construction and transport.

Officials have told news agency Reuters that Paris may initially secure deals in areas that were not specifically hit by European Union and American sanctions.

They will focus mostly on the agriculture and livestock sectors, according to Le Foll.

Sanctions lifting would begin in the first quarter of 2016 if Iran meets its obligations under the agreement designed to stop it acquiring nuclear weapons.

A Medef visit to Iran last year was criticised in the US as being too early.

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