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Rohani Seals Major Deals In France With Airbus, Peugeot-Citroen


Femen Activist Hangs From Paris Bridge In Anti-Rohani Protest
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WATCH: Femen Activist Hangs From Paris Bridge In Anti-Rohani Protest

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has sealed a 22 billion euro ($25 billion) deal to buy 118 civilian aircraft from the French firm Airbus

The deal to purchase the planes was announced in Paris on January 28 at a ceremony attended by Rohani and French President Francois Hollande.

Meanwhile, France's Peugeot-Citroen announced a joint venture with Iranian automaker Khodro to make 200,000 cars a year in Iran starting in 2017.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the countries should forget past rancor.

Valls said: "France is available for Iran," and "Iran can count on France."

Earlier on January 28, Rohani told French business executives in Paris that Iran is "favorable terrain" for resumed trade between East and West.

Rohani urged the French business leaders for support to unblock financing for resumed trade now that sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program are being implemented.

Continued U.S. bank restrictions against Iran are a hurdle to many European countries seeking renewed commerce.

Rohani praised France and said he wants to use the positive atmosphere after a landmark nuclear deal to boost ties.

Later, at a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, Rohani reiterated that Tehran would keep its commitments made under a nuclear accord with major world powers.

Rohani said the United States, the European Union, and other world powers would also have to keep their end of the bargain.

Hollande said that the basis of new relations with Iran depends entirely on the respect of commitments made in the nuclear agreement.

Hollande said he also reminded Rohani that France was "committed to human rights" during talks in Paris.

The Islamic republic is often criticized for human rights violations, including a large number of executions.

As Rohani was meeting with Hollande in Paris, a protest was held by the feminist group Femen -- including a mock hanging from a bridge of one of their members who had painted an Iranian flag across her naked chest.

On the bridge above her, protesters had hung a banner saying: "Welcome Rohani, Executioner Of Freedom."

During their meeting in Paris, Hollande and Rohani said they also had addressed the situation in Syria.

The French president emphasized the urgency of negotiating a political solution to Syria's civil war, saying "we urgently need to put in place humanitarian measures and negotiate a political transition. It is possible."

Rohani said it was up to the Syrian people to make decisions about their country.

When asked whether Tehran was ready to compromise on the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Rohani said "The problem in Syria is not a question of people, but terrorism and the Islamic State."

Iran has been helping Assad's regime, Tehran's main regional ally, with financial and military support.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP
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