France and Iran

Political relations

After a period of limited political dialogue following the contested re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009, high-level meetings resumed at the initiative of the new Iranian authorities. Iran can contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East region and thus regain a constructive place in the international community. With this in mind, France encourages Iran to behave in a responsible and appropriate manner in dealing with the international and regional issues at stake.

Visits

Visits to Iran

  • July 2015: Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • September 2015: Mathias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, with Stéphane Le Foll, Minister of Agriculture.
  • December 2015: Gérard Larcher, President of the French Senate-April 2016: Alain Vidalies, French Minister of State for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries.
  • September 2016: Claude Bartolone, President of the National Assembly, and Ségolène Royal, French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy
  • January 2017, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development.
  • August 2017, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
  • September 2017, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
  • January 2018, Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Visits to France

  • Last State visit: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (June 1974).
  • June 2009: Manouchehr Mottaki, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • November 2012: Hamid Reza Haji-Babai, Minister of Education (UNESCO visit).
  • November 2013: Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Reza Faraji-Dana, Minister of Science, Research and Technology (UNESCO visit).
  • May 2014: Mahmoud Hodjati, Minister of Agriculture.
  • June 2014: Shahindokht Molaverdi, Vice President for Women and Family Affairs.
  • January 2015: Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • March 2015: Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President and Head of Environmental Protection Organization.
  • June 2015: Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi, Minister of Roads and Urban Development.
  • January 2016: Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • June 2017: Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Economic relations

Following international sanctions against Iran in 2004, our bilateral trade collapsed. From 2004 to 2014, our trade was divided by seven and our exports to Iran by five. When a portion of sanctions were lifted in 2014, our trade resumed. France imports Iranian oil again and would like to invest massively in the Iranian economy whose market and infrastructures are dilapidated. In 2016, France ranked 13 among Iran’s suppliers in the world and 4 among EU Member States.

Educational, cultural, scientific, academic and technical cooperation

Having redirected our cooperation activities during the periods of tension on the nuclear programme, we are currently stepping up our bilateral cooperation in the cultural, educational, scientific and technical fields.

Our cooperation network in Iran includes our Embassy’s Cooperation and Cultural Action Service, the French language centre, the Institut Français de Recherche en Iran (IFRI, French Research Institute in Iran), and the French school of Tehran which is managed under contract with the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE).

The priorities of our cooperation policy with Iran are support for Iranian civil society, academic cooperation and scientific cooperation as characterized by the Gundishapur Hubert Curien Partnership programme. Our activities seek in particular to promote study in France by Iranian students and to facilitate long-term relationships between French and Iranian universities and research centres while remaining vigilant as regards non-proliferation.

Updated: March 2018