TEHRAN (MNA) – Iranian ambassador to Paris, Sadegh Kharrazi, said on Sunday that Iran-France political and economic ties would develop with a more rapid pace over the next six months.
Speaking with the Mehr News Agency on the threshold of President Mohammad Khatami’s trip to France, Kharrazi said that France’s position in Europe and among the G8 countries as well as Iran’s position in the Middle East and among the Shia community has helped the two countries develop closer ties.
President Khatami is due to start a tour of Austria and France on Monday. During his stay in France, Khatami will attend a session on dialogue among civilizations sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and meet with some high-ranking French officials including President Jacques Chirac.
The Iranian ambassador referred to the expansion of diplomatic ties between Iran and France over the past two years, saying that the two sides have made constructive consultations for the establishment of stability and security in the region.
He noted that France is currently Iran’s fourth or fifth partner in Europe and that Iran, which was formerly France’s thirty ninth economic partner has become its eleventh economic partner over the recent years.
Kharrazi added that France’s requests for investment in Iran are mainly focused in the energy, oil, transportation and telecommunications sectors as well as in the automobile industry, shipbuilding, electricity power plants and small industries.
The ambassador said that Iran and France hold a common view on the issues of poverty, discrimination, illicit drugs, environment and terrorism, adding that both countries share a similar viewpoint in regard to resolving the problems in the Middle East.
He further announced that the two countries will probably reach an agreement on establishing one of the most important French polytechnic universities in Iran.
Kharrazi noted that the joint project between France and Iran’s private and governmental sectors will probably be launched in one of Iran’s free regions.