Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius held meeting with his Iranian counter part Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran to discuss the issues of mutual interests.
Fabius arrived in Tehran on July 29, and is scheduled to hold talks with the Islamic Republic's high-ranking officials including President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Minister of Industry, Trade and Mines Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh as well as the head of Iran's Environment Protection organization, Masoumeh Ebtekar during the day-long visit.
Upon his arrival to Tehran the French FM said that his visit is a new beginning and both Tehran and Paris have responsibility to establish peace and stability in the region, Iran's IRIB news agency reported.
Fabius' visit to Iran is the first by a French foreign minister to the Islamic Republic in 12 years.
He underlined that his visit will cover political issues.
"However we will also discuss the future of the economic cooperation," he said.
Meanwhile, some hardliner Iranians held meeting in Tehran's international Mehrabad airport to protest Fabius's visit, the country's semi official Fars news agency reported.
They chanted slogans against the French minister, accusing him of being "Israel spy" and the "US handyman". The protesters also accused Fabius of selling HIV infected blood to Iran.
In 1991, doctor and journalist Anne-Marie Casteret revealed that France knowingly distributed blood contaminated with HIV to haemophiliacs, including those in Iran.
In 1999, then-French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, then-Social Affairs Minister Georgina Dufoix and then-Health Minister Edmond Herve were charged with manslaughter following an investigation into the scandal of tainted blood sales. Later, the French Court of Cassation acquitted Fabius and Dufoix. Herve was found guilty, but was never sentenced.
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