Iran president seeks economic deals as he starts Italy-France trip

Iran President Hassan Rowhani said he was looking to shore up economic ties with European Union countries, as he started Monday a four-day trip to Italy and France that will also include a stop at the Vatican.

Rowhani's travels are taking place following this month's lifting of EU and US sanctions on Tehran, in return for Iran's agreement with six major world powers in July to significantly scale down its nuclear programme.

"After the nuclear agreement we want to elaborate on a middle- and long-term road map for our relationship with the EU and especially with Italy and France," Rowhani said, before leaving for Rome with a large economic delegation.

"I will be in Rome and Paris to speak about and possibly come to concrete results on different economic projects, like car manufacturing and the modernization of our civil aviation," he said.

In Rome, Rowhani is due to meet President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Monday, and take part in an Italy-Iran business forum on Tuesday, when he is also scheduled to be granted an audience by Pope Francis.

The Iranian president is slated to travel on to Paris on Wednesday and return home a day later.

Last update: Mon, 25/01/2016 - 13:27

More from World

US turns inward: President Trump vows to put "America first"

New President Donald Trump is vowing to unapologetically put American interests first, signalling a break in US...

Gambia ex-president ready to 'cede power,' mediation efforts ongoing

Gambia's longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh is apparently willing to cede power and step aside, security sources in the...

Mexican drug baron 'El Chapo' pleads 'not guilty' in US court

The world's most notorious drug kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, pleaded not guilty in a New York court Friday to...

95 arrested as Trump's inauguration draws thousands of protesters

Police in Washington arrested 95 people on Friday after thousands of protesters marched down the streets of the US...

NATO a boon to US and Europe, Stoltenberg tells Trump

NATO is "as good for the United States as it is for Europe," said Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance's secretary general...