0930 GMT February 18, 2018
After years of tough but constructive negotiations, I am travelling to Tehran at the invitation of my Iranian counterpart, Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif. I am delighted at this prospect.
The French have long been fascinated by Persia, with its great cultural heritage and outstanding contribution to the history of science and ideas. We are equally amazed by Iranian students: in French universities, they achieve excellence and are the embodiment of Iran. Now, everything is in place for us to step up our exchanges.
The 14th July nuclear deal is a turning point. To carry it through, it is of crucial importance that all parties meet their commitments in line with the agreed timetable. This is the only way to build mutual trust between them.
Our businessmen and industrialists have been working together fora long time. French technology and products are well-known and meet the high expectations of Iranian entrepreneurs and consumers. Now, both countries can further their economic cooperation as new perspectives open up.
France, as a major power in terms of peace and security, has always had respectful and frank relations with Iran, even when we hold diverging views. It is with this in mind that I set off for Iran, where I will address all these topics with the Iranian authorities. The path is clear for renewed bilateral dialogue. At a time when the Middle East is experiencing numerous tensions, we will pay special attention to peace and security issues in the region. In the face of so many crises and tragedies, Iran – an influential power– can play a positive role. We want to work for a safer world and Iran must participate fully in these efforts. This is the message I will convey to Tehran.
Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development.