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Iran's Rohani In France To Finalize Business Deals, Meet Hollande


Iranian President Hassan Rohani attends a press conference in Rome on January 27.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani attends a press conference in Rome on January 27.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has arrived in France for an official visit in which he is expected to finalize a series of commercial deals -- including the purchase of 114 passenger planes from Airbus and a partnership with French carmaker Peugeot.

French officials have said the partnership between Peugeot and Iran's Khodro would result in the production of 200,000 Peugeot vehicles in Iran beginning in 2017.

The French oil firm Total is also said to be interested in buying Iranian crude oil.

Rohani will also be meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris.

Meanwhile, exiled Iranian opposition leaders and activists have planned a human rights demonstration in Paris to coincide with Rohani's visit.

WATCH: Iranian emigres in Paris turned out to protest against the visit of Iran's President Hassan Rohani. They assembled near the French parliament, and accused Rohani of being a dictator. (Reuters)

Earlier on January 27 in Rome, at the end of the first leg of his first European visit since sanctions against Iran were lifted under a nuclear deal with world powers, Rohani said Tehran could have better relations with the United States.

But he said it was up to Washington to change what he called a "hostile" stance toward Iran.

"It's possible that Iran and the United states might have friendly relations. But the key to that is in Washington's hands, not Tehran's," Rohani said at a news conference in Rome on January 27.

"I would like to see the Americans set aside their hostility and chose another way, but inside the U.S. there are some problems, there is no unified voice," he said, noting that "the Zionist lobby" was "very influential."

Rohani, on the first state visit by an Iranian president to Europe in nearly two decades, is seeking foreign investment after the lifting of international sanctions against Iran on January 16 under its nuclear accord with world powers.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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