(From Reuters)

President Hassan Rouhani brings the case to Europe this week for Iran as a potential investment bonanza, after the lifting of financial sanctions brought his country of 80 million people back into the world of global commerce.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Rouhani, a pragmatist elected in 2013 on a platform to reduce Iran’s isolation, championed the deal under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for the lifting of U.S., EU and United Nations sanctions this month.

On his first trip abroad since the accord took effect, he will lead a 120-strong delegation that includes Iranian entrepreneurs as well as the oil and gas minister and other government officials for five days to Paris and Rome. He will meet Pope Francis and French President Francois Hollande.

Iran already demonstrated its hunger for Western goods at an aviation conference on the eve of the visit, announcing plans on Sunday to buy eight A-380 superjumbo jets from Airbus and eventually buy up to 100 planes from Boeing.

The republic could need 500 new planes over the next three years, lawmaker Mahdi Hashemi, the chairman of the parliament’s development commission, said at Tehran’s first major post-sanctions gathering of global businessmen.

The transport minister, Abbas Akhoondi, told journalists Tehran would discuss details with Airbus next week and was also interested in negotiating with US plane maker Boeing for aircraft. Read More

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