France to Urge Firms to Do Business in Iran: Official

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - France will encourage its firms to do business in Iran despite nuclear deal limbo, a senior French finance official said on Thursday.

France to Urge Firms to Do Business in Iran: Official

"France will encourage its firms to do business in Iran" despite uncertainty over the landmark 2015 nuclear deal putting the business environment in limbo, Joffrey Celestin-Urbain, director of bilateral relations at the French finance ministry told a Euromoney Iran conference.

French exports to Iran for the first 11 months of 2017 rose 120 percent to 1.29 billion euros ($1.6 billion) and imports grew 80 percent to 2.16 billion euros, Celestin-Urbain said.

He referred to the US efforts to prevent Iran from benefiting from the nuclear deal and said that the short-term priority was to keep trade simple and complete a scheme this year to offer euro-denominated credits to Iranian buyers of French goods, Reuters reported.

In the meantime, the head of state-owned investment bank Bpifrance, said he was confident the scheme, which had a pipeline of deals worth 1.5 billion euros, could start operating by end-May or early-June. However, he warned that talks were ongoing on how to protect French firms if the US snapped back sanctions.

“Everybody is waiting for the situation to be clarified,” said Nicolas Dufourcq. “We are currently negotiating with the Iranian authorities.”

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany) reached the 159-page nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015.

When the JCPOA came into force in January 2016, nuclear-related sanctions against Iran were lifted.

Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, but some other parties, especially the US, have failed to live up with their undertakings.    

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