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January 31, 2017 1:07 pm

Tehran-Paris Trade Tripled Since Nuclear Deal Went Into Effect, Top Regime Official Says as French FM Visits Iranian Capital

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The volume of trade between France and the Islamic Republic has tripled since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) went into effect last year, a top Iranian official said on Tuesday, according to the regime-aligned Tasnim news agency.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the comment during a joint press conference with French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, who was in the midst of a two-day visit to Tehran.

“After Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s trip to France [in January 2016], a road map to the promotion of relations was developed,” Zarif said. “Today, the implementation of the road map has had positive effects on various fields.”

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The semi-official Mehr state news agency reported that Ayrault was joined on his trip to Iran by representatives of 60 French companies.

On Monday, the United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) advocacy group warned Ayrault about the perils of doing business with Iran.

“As foreign companies have started to enter the Iranian market, those who have benefited most are Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) front companies, not the Iranian people,” UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace said in a statement. “The Iranian regime has used this influx of foreign money to fuel their brutal crackdown on human rights at home and their sponsorship of terrorism in the region. Given this reality, unfortunately any hope that the JCPOA will help strengthen moderates in Iran is misplaced.”

The fate of the JCPOA is unclear following the inauguration of US President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Ayrault, according to Reuters, said in Tehran, “This deal has to be rigorously kept to. I want this deal to last and that no badly chosen initiatives are taken that could put the accord in jeopardy.”

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