Ex-French PM arrives in Tehran on unofficial visit

Ex-French PM arrives in Tehran on unofficial visit

Former French socialist prime minister Michel Rocard arrived in Tehran early Saturday on an unofficial three-day visit to meet with several ranking Iranian officials, diplomats said, AFP reported.

Rocard, whose trip was not coordinated by the French foreign ministry, may meet Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, French daily Le Figaro reported quoting his entourage.

The visit, first planned for April but postponed after the 81-year-old Rocard was hospitalised in Stockholm in late March, comes days after the May 6 election of socialist Francois Hollande as France's president.

According to Le Figaro, the visit aims at "boosting relations" between Paris and Tehran, which were seriously strained under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy.

"We hope his visit will facilitate fresh contacts between the next French government and Iran," Michel Dubois, an aide who is accompanying Rocard during his visit, told Le Figaro.

The paper said it was not clear whether Rocard is carrying a message from Hollande for Iranian officials.

Rocard's visit comes as Iran is preparing for a new round of talks with world powers in Baghdad on May 23 that will focus on its disputed nuclear programme.

France under Sarkozy was the strong voice in the European Union to advocate harsh US-backed economic sanctions against Iran over Western suspicions it seeks a weapons capability masked by its civilian nuclear programme.

France also became one of the most vocal critics of human rights violations in Iran, including the regime's crackdown on opposition supporters, activists and journalists in the aftermath of a disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

Tensions between the two countries were exacerbated by the July 2009 arrest of Clotilde Reiss, a young French lecturer at the University of Isfahan accused of attending anti-government protests and convicted on espionage charges before being released on bail in May 2010.

In recent months, France greatly reduced its diplomatic mission in Tehran and shut down its cultural and economic sections following the ransacking of the British embassy by pro-regime protesters in December.

On Monday Iran expressed hope that Hollande's presidency would usher in a "new era" in its relations with Paris.

Hollande, however, had said in his election campaign that if elected, France would maintain its "firm position" on Iran, whose nuclear work "is a vital danger for Israel and peace in the world."

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, with its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling the possession of atomic weapons "a great sin."

But the United States and many of its EU allies believe Iran has been working towards developing a nuclear weapons capability. The EU is poised to enact sanctions Sarkozy pushed to be imposed on Iranian oil on July 1.


Edited by: S. Isayev

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Moscow welcomes ‘progress’ on Iran nuclear deal
Moscow welcomes ‘progress’ on Iran nuclear deal
Parties narrowing differences in Vienna talks - Iran's top negotiator
Parties narrowing differences in Vienna talks - Iran's top negotiator
Iran FM: Talks in Vienna proceeding in right direction
Iran FM: Talks in Vienna proceeding in right direction
Loading Bars
Latest
Chinese bridge at Pangong Tso nears completion, show satellite images
Beijing city raises vigilance as local COVID cases tick higher before Olympics
Over 300 mln COVID-19 cases confirmed all over world, WHO says
U.S., UK launch talks to resolve steel, aluminum dispute
India should adopt risk-based approach not blanket bans to contain Covid - WHO India head
Turkey, UAE sign FX swap deal worth $5 billion
Covid-hit microfinance industry in India seeks higher credit guarantee scheme
Excellent Iran-Russia ties serving strategic goals - Iranian president
Turkey soon to leave currency volatility behind: Erdogan
Cryptocurrency Bill in India unlikely to be introduced in upcoming Budget session
Head of EU delegation expresses condolences to Azerbaijan on occasion of January 20 tragedy
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva shares post on her official Instagram page in connection with 32nd anniversary of January 20 tragedy (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan commemorates 32nd anniversary of 1990 'Black January' tragedy
Organization of Turkic States makes post in connection with January 20 tragedy
UK shares experience in mine action with Azerbaijan - Ambassador
Azerbaijan adheres to start of delimitation of border with Armenia process without any conditions - minister
PM Johnson drops COVID rules in England
President Ilham Aliyev makes Facebook post on occasion of anniversary of January 20 tragedy (PHOTO)
Afghanistan opens gates of Kamal Khan Dam allowing water into drought-hit Iran
Azerbaijan hosts auction for commissioning mineral deposits
Russia allows tomato imports from several Turkmen enterprises
Azerbaijan to showcase its non-oil products at int’l exhibitions
Price indexes of financial, construction sectors at Uzbek stock exchange fall
Uzbekneftegaz creates new unit to handle partnerships with world's largest financial institutions
Money transfers from Georgia to Azerbaijan increase
Kazakhstan’s December compliance to OPEC+ deal unveiled
Chinese company discloses volume of cargo containers sent to Uzbekistan in 2021
Georgia's Imereti Agrozone receives investment proposals
No apparent crude export impact from civil unrest in Kazakhstan - EIA
Baku refinery increases oil output
Uz-Kor Gas Chemical company opens tender for supply of protective equipment
Gas consumption grows in Azerbaijan
Activities of military units stationed in Azerbaijan's liberated territories inspected (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani FM rejects unfounded allegations of Armenian representative at OSCE forum (PHOTO)
SOCAR boosts oil and gas exports
Iranian Ministry of Roads, Urban Development reveals data on activities of ports
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin rising in price
Azerbaijan significantly increases gas production
Kazakhstan discloses cargo traffic via Aktau port for 2021
U.S. mortgage interest rates climb for 4th straight week
Azerbaijan provides lump-sum allowance to families of January 20 tragedy martyrs, victims
Azerbaijan announces increase in freight traffic by all modes of transport
MP: Pecresse's illegal Karabakh trip gives rise to legal responsibility
Azerbaijan announces priorities as chair of OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation
Georgia’s domestic electricity production up in 2021
SOCAR increases oil production y-o-y
Uzbek Central bank shares data on number of bank cards used in 2021
Azerbaijan's traffic police to check citizens going on trips to liberated lands - ministry
Kazakhstan unveils trade indicators with largest trade partners in EU
Cargo transportation through Iran’s Mashhad Airport soars
Azerbaijan discloses number of people involved in self-employment program in 2021
Private sector is actively involved in construction of administrative center in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Iran declares amount of loans issued for housing, construction sector
Transportation of oil from Kazakh Aktau port to Azerbaijan unveiled
Azerbaijan's ANAMA shares information on mine incident in Azerbaijan's Goranboy region
Iran beats new record on gas consumption
Azerbaijan confirms 1,151 more COVID-19 cases, 543 recoveries
Azerbaijan's Azerishig talks appeals of businesses for electric supply in liberated areas
Uzbekistan's UzAuto Motors faces semiconductors shortage
Turkmen plant produces significant volume of urea fertilizer
Azerbaijan, Ukraine discuss prospects for transport cooperation
Azerbaijani servicemen take part in parachute training in Turkey (PHOTO)
Germany surpasses 100,000 daily COVID-19 cases for first time
Azerbaijani citizens allowed to visit liberated Aghdam, Shusha once a year - ministry
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 19
Azerbaijani MFA issues statement on occasion of January 20 - National Mourning Day
IRICA shares data on import of COVID-19 vaccine to Iran
Uzbekistan Airways to conduct regular flights to Russia's Ufa
Turkmen state concern increases natural gas production in 2021
Indian Vijay Mallya can be evicted from London home over unpaid loan, UK court orders
Iran sees increase in passenger transportation via railways
Russia documents 33,899 daily COVID-19 cases, highest number since November 27
Salaries of employees of presidium, office of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences up
Turkmenistan increases volume of loans issued to economic entities
Azerbaijan reduces electricity exports to Georgia
Azerbaijan's ANAMA creates new operational groups
Azerbaijan hands over several prisoners to Iran
Chamber of Commerce talks steps Iran could take to boost trade turnover with Russia
Investigation will show whether Nazarbayev was involved in unrests in Kazakhstan - MFA
Kazakhstan's Minister of Defense appointed
Veyseloglu Group of Companies presented its retail index for 2021
Ethylene output up in Azerbaijan
Georgia's motor oil imports drop, one of possible reasons made public
Revenues from compulsory state social insurance grow in Azerbaijan - minister
Azerbaijan blocks betting payment method in bookmakers using bank cards
Georgia continues path to sustainable growth – World Bank
Azerbaijan boosts gasoline, diesel production
Azerbaijan records growth in nominal GDP
Azerbaijan increases salaries of employees of some organizations financed from state budget
Georgia retains its macroeconomic stability – minister
Iran to improve economic ties with neighboring countries - official
UK inflation rises to highest in nearly 30 years
New minister of health appointed in Azerbaijan
State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan reveals distribution of investment portfolio
Value of Turkmenistan’s imports from Azerbaijan rise for November 2021
Revenues of mobile communications sector in Azerbaijan climb for 2021
Azerbaijan sees increase in output of solar power plants
Average broadband internet speeds increase in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani Customs Committee boosts transfers to state budget in 2021
All news