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France digs in for Iran trade with six deals

Locals pick strawberry fields in Sanandaj in western Iran.

Iran and France have signed six cooperation agreements for a series of projects in livestock and fish farming and exports of organic Iranian products to the EU as a senior representative of the French agriculture minister is visiting Tehran. 

Patrice de Laurens said France planned to expand cooperation with Iran. He said the two countries can exchange their experiences in facing climatic and food security challenges which both are wrestling with, IRNA reported.

“Agriculture in Iran is one of the world’s most ancient and Iran’s production of fruits is ranked between first and 10th in the world,” said de Laurens.

He is the head of the international relations department at France’s General Directorate of Agriculture, Food and Territories (DGPAAT) and representative of Minister of Agriculture Stephane Le Foll.  

De Laurens and Iran’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Abbas Keshavarz signed the agreements which cover farming, fisheries, animal husbandry and gardening.

Under the agreement, Iran will sell organic products to the EU and import genetically modified pear and apple trees and grapevines.

A grape farm in Takestan in Iran's Qazvin province.

Keshavarz said Iran will open next month its first aquaculture farm which has been established jointly with France in the Persian Gulf island of Qeshm.

Iran is also importing genetically-modified cattle from France. Keshavarz said the two countries have signed an agreement to set up a farm for growing dairy goats and sheep.

They further agreed to develop a research center for raising salmons in the Iranian city of Kalardasht near the Caspian Sea.

French traders are showing rising interest in business with Iran as nuclear talks between Tehran and the P5+1 are heading down the homestretch.

France’s major carmakers are awaiting a nod to return to Iran’s lucrative market which they left after Europe intensified sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2011.

At the negotiating table, France is said to be demanding more stringent restrictions on Iran under any deal than the other Western delegations. US officials have said France's position privately is not as tough as it is publicly.



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