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Iran-France relations

Iran-France relations

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France–Iran relations are the international relations between France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. Iran has generally enjoyed a friendly relationship with France since the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. The travels of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was a French traveller and pioneer of trade with India, and travels through Persia , most known for works in two quarto volumes, Les Six Voyages de Jean-Baptiste Tavernier and diamond merchant for some important diamonds of the century...

 are particularly well known to Safavid Persia.

Recently however, relations have soured over Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

's refusal to halt uranium enrichment and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 supporting the referral of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 to the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

. Under French President Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

, relations were warm and friendly as the French government helped the Iranian government to detain PMOI members and supporters that Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 regards as "terrorists".

Safavid era



In the 16th and 17th centuries, Persia tried to obtain support among European nations against the expansionism of the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Since France was tied into an Ottoman
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

 alliance, however, the Persian embassy to Europe of 1599–1602
Persian embassy to Europe (1599–1602)
The Persian embassy to Europe was dispatched by the Persian Shah Abbas I in 1599 to obtain an alliance against the Ottoman Empire. The Persians had then been at war with the Ottoman Empire for more than a century, and so decided to try to obtain European help against the Ottomans...

 and the Persian embassy to Europe of 1609–1615
Persian embassy to Europe (1609–1615)
The Persian embassy to Europe was dispatched by the Persian Shah Abbas I in 1609 to obtain an alliance with Europe against the Ottoman Empire. The embassy was led by the Englishman Robert Shirley.-Background:...

 avoided France. A Capuchin
Order of Friars Minor Capuchin
The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an Order of friars in the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Order, called the Minister General, is currently Father Mauro Jöhri.-Origins :...

 mission was however established in Ispahan under Pacifique de Provins
Pacifique de Provins
Pacifique de Provins was a French Capuchin Father of the 17th century. He established a French mission in Ispahan in 1627 with the agreement of Cardinal de Richelieu and Pėre Joseph, and the benevolence of Shah Abbas. Pacifique de Provins relied on the help of an Armenian named Khajah Muchaq to...

 in 1627.


Trade contacts however existed, and the French trader Jean-Baptiste Tavernier
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was a French traveller and pioneer of trade with India, and travels through Persia , most known for works in two quarto volumes, Les Six Voyages de Jean-Baptiste Tavernier and diamond merchant for some important diamonds of the century...

 (1605–1689) is known to have been as far as Ispahan circa 1632.

Relations took an official turn under Louis XIV and Colbert
Colbert
Colbert is a common surname and rare given name of Old French and Old German origins; it was introduced to Britain by the Normans.Colbert most commonly refers to:*Stephen Colbert , American comedian and television show host...

, when Colbert founded the French East India Company
French East India Company
The French East India Company was a commercial enterprise, founded in 1664 to compete with the British and Dutch East India companies in colonial India....

 in 1664, and subsequently asked Lalain and Laboulaye to go to Ispahan to promote French interests in Persia. The Shah welcomed them as he was delighted to be given an opportunity to counterbalance English and Dutch influence in his country. He provided a three-year exemption from customs duties, and gave France the same privileges as other countries. Further, a trading post was given to France in Bandar Abbas
Bandar Abbas
Bandar-Abbas or Bandar-e ‘Abbās , also Romanized as Bandar ‘Abbās, Bandar ‘Abbāsī, and Bandar-e ‘Abbās; formerly known as Cambarão and Port Comorão to Portuguese traders, as Gombroon to English traders and as Gamrun or Gumrun to Dutch merchants) is a port city and capital of Hormozgān Province on...

.

Another French trader Jean Chardin
Jean Chardin
Jean Chardin , born Jean-Baptiste Chardin, and also known as Sir John Chardin, was a French jeweller and traveller whose ten-volume book The Travels of Sir John Chardin is regarded as one of the finest works of early Western scholarship on Persia and the Near East.-Life and work:Chardin was born in...

 (1643–1715) visited Persia and received the patronage of the Safavid monarch Shah Abbas II and his son Shah Suleiman I
Suleiman I of Persia
Suleiman I was a Safavid shah of Persia who reigned between 1666 and 1694. He was the elder son of the previous shah Abbas II and a Circassian slave, Nakihat Khanum....

. Chardin returned to France in 1670. The following year, he published an account of Le Couronnement de Soleïmaan (English translation: The Coronation of Shah Soleiman). He again visited Persia and India between 1673 and 1680.


Numerous trade contacts continued to occur between Persia (modern Iran) and France. In 1705, Louis XIV dispatched an Ambassador Extraordinary in the person of Jean-Baptiste Fabre, accompanied by a party including Jacques Rousseau, uncle of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

. Fabre died in Persia, but negotiations were taken over by Pierre-Victor Michel, leading to a Treaty signed in September 1708.

Wishing to reinforce exchanges, the Shah sent an Embassy in 1715, led by Mohhammad Reza Beg, the Persian embassy to Louis XIV
Persian embassy to Louis XIV
The Persian embassy to Louis XIV caused a dramatic flurry at the court of Louis XIV in 1715, the year of the Sun King's death. Mohammed Reza Beg, or in French sources Méhémet Riza Beg, was a high-ranking official to the Persian governor of the Yerevan province...

. The embassy visited king Louis XIV and obtained a new treaty of alliance signed in Versailles
Versailles
Versailles , a city renowned for its château, the Palace of Versailles, was the de facto capital of the kingdom of France for over a century, from 1682 to 1789. It is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and remains an important administrative and judicial centre...

 on 13 August 1715. Contact was then interrupted with the fall of the Safavid Empire in 1722 and the subsequent troubles, until the end of the century.

Impressed by the Persian visits, the French author Montesquieu
Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu
Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu , generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French social commentator and political thinker who lived during the Enlightenment...

 wrote a fictional account about Persia, the Lettres persanes, in 1721.

Qajar Era





Attempts to resume contact were made following the French revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, as France was in conflict with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and wished to find an ally against that country. In 1796, two scientists, Jean-Guillaume Bruguières and Guillaume-Antoine Olivier
Guillaume-Antoine Olivier
Guillaume-Antoine Olivier was a French entomologist.He was the author of Entomologie, ou histoire naturelle des Insectes and Le Voyage dans l'Empire Othoman, l'Égypte et la Perse . He was a close friend of Johan Christian Fabricius and a patron of Pierre André Latreille.-References:...

, were sent to Persia by the Directoire, but were unsuccessful in obtaining an agreement.

A Franco-Persian alliance
Franco-Persian alliance
A Franco-Persian alliance was formed for a short period between the French Empire of Napoleon I and the Persian Empire of Fath Ali Shah against Russia and Great Britain between 1807 to 1809. The alliance was part of a grand Napoleonic scheme to cross the Middle East in order to attack British India...

 was formed for a short period between the French Empire
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 of Napoleon I
Napoleon I
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 and the Persian Empire of Fath Ali Shah against Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 between 1807 to 1809. The alliance was part of a grand Napoleonic scheme to cross the Middle-East in order to attack British India. The alliance unravelled when France finally allied with Russia and turned its focus to European campaigns.

Diplomatic relations with France resumed in 1839 following a dispute between Great Britain and Persia over the Afghan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 city of Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

. Great Britain would remove its military and diplomatic missions from Persia, occupy Kharg island
Kharg Island
Kharg Island is a continental island in the Persian Gulf belonging to Iran. The island is located off the coast of Iran and northwest of the Strait of Hormuz. Administered by the adjacent coastal Bushehr Province, Kharg Island provides a sea port for the export of oil and extends Iranian...

, and attack Bushehr
Bushehr
Bushehr Bushehr lies in a vast plain running along the coastal region on the Persian Gulf coast of southwestern Iran. It is the chief seaport of the country and the administrative centre of its province. Its location is about south of Tehran. The local climate is hot and humid.The city...

. Mohammad Shah Qajar
Mohammad Shah Qajar
Mohammad Shah Qajar was king of Persia from the Qajar dynasty .- Rise to power :...

 would in turn resume diplomatic relations with France, and send a diplomatic mission to Louis-Philippe under Mirza Hossein Khan
Mirza Hossein Khan
Mirza Hossein Khan Ajudan Bashi was a 19th century Persian diplomat. He was sent to France in 1839 by the Persian ruler Mohammad Shah Qajar following the conflict between Persia and Great Britain over the possession of Herat in Afghanistan...

 to obtain military help. In response, a group of French officers was sent to Persia with the returning ambassador.

Pahlavi Era


France had close economic collaboration with Iran during the Pahlavi era
Pahlavi dynasty
The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi (reg. 1925–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty ...

, especially with numerous contracts related to public works.

Nuclear program


Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, France refused to continue to provide Iran in enriched uranium
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium is a kind of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight...

, which it needed for its nuclear program
Nuclear program of Iran
The nuclear program of Iran was launched in the 1950s with the help of the United States as part of the Atoms for Peace program. The support, encouragement and participation of the United States and Western European governments in Iran's nuclear program continued until the 1979 Iranian Revolution...

. Tehran did not get either its investment back from the Eurodif
Eurodif
Eurodif, which means European Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Consortium, is a subsidiary of the French company AREVA which operates a uranium enrichment plant established at the Tricastin Nuclear Power Center in Pierrelatte in Drôme...

 joint stock company
Joint stock company
A joint-stock company is a type of corporation or partnership involving two or more individuals that own shares of stock in the company...

 formed in 1973 by France, Belgium, Spain and Sweden. In 1975 Sweden’s 10% share in Eurodif went to Iran as a result of an arrangement between France and Iran. The French government subsidiary company Cogéma
Areva NC
Areva NC, formerly Cogema is a French company, created in 1976 from the production division of the French government's CEA It is an industrial group active in all stages of the uranium fuel cycle, including uranium mining, conversion, enrichment, spent fuel reprocessing, and recycling...

 and Tehran established the Sofidif (Société Franco–iranienne pour l’enrichissement de l’uranium par diffusion gazeuse) firm with 60% and 40% shares, respectively. In turn, Sofidif acquired a 25% share in EURODIF, which gave Iran its 10% share of Eurodif. Reza Shah Pahlavi lent 1 billion dollars (and another 180 million dollars in 1977) for the construction of the Eurodif factory, to have the right of buying 10% of the production of the site.

In 1982, president François Mitterrand
François Mitterrand
François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was the 21st President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, serving from 1981 until 1995. He is the longest-serving President of France and, as leader of the Socialist Party, the only figure from the left so far elected President...

, who had been elected the year before
French presidential election, 1981
The French presidential election of 1981 took place on 10 May 1981, giving the presidency of France to François Mitterrand, the first Socialist president of the Fifth Republic....

, refused to give any uranium to Iran, which also claimed the $1 billion debt. In 1986, Eurodif manager Georges Besse
Georges Besse
Georges Besse was a French businessman who led several large state-controlled French companies during his lifetime. He was assassinated outside his home on November 17, 1986...

 was assassinated; the act was allegedly claimed by left-wing militants from Action Directe. However, they denied any responsibility during their trial. In their investigation La République atomique, France-Iran le pacte nucléaire, David Carr-Brown and Dominique Lorentz
Dominique Lorentz
Dominique Lorentz is a French investigative journalist who has written books on the stakes and reality of nuclear proliferation, as well as a film documentary, La République Atomique , which related terrorist acts in France in the 1980s to the nuclear program of Iran.Her work details various types...

 pointed to the Iranian intelligence services' responsibility. They also claimed that the French hostage scandal was connected to the Iranian blackmail. Finally an agreement was found in 1991: France refunded more than 1.6 billion dollars. Iran remained shareholder of Eurodif via Sofidif, a Franco-Iranian consortium shareholder to 25% of Eurodif. However, Iran abstained itself from asking for the produced uranium.

Iran–Iraq War (1980-1988)


Furthermore, with the United States and other countries, France supported Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 in the war against Iran (1980–1988). Saddam's airforce included dozens of Mirage F1s, Dassault-Breguet Super Étendards, and Aérospatiale Gazelle
Aérospatiale Gazelle
The Aérospatiale Gazelle is a five-seat light helicopter, powered by a single turbine engine. It was designed and manufactured in France by Sud Aviation . It was also manufactured under licence by Westland Aircraft in the United Kingdom , by SOKO in Yugoslavia and ABHCO in Egypt...

s, among other weaponry. Iraqi military purchases from France totaled $5.5 Billion in 1985, prompting U.S. Senator Ted Stevens
Ted Stevens
Theodore Fulton "Ted" Stevens, Sr. was a United States Senator from Alaska, serving from December 24, 1968, until January 3, 2009, and thus the longest-serving Republican senator in history...

 of Alaska, and chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee
United States Senate Committee on Appropriations
The United States Senate Committee on Appropriations is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It has jurisdiction over all discretionary spending legislation in the Senate....

, to declare France's selling of military equipment to Iraq as "international treason".

In fact it was Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

  who helped sell Saddam the two nuclear reactors that started Baghdad on the path to nuclear weapons capability. By 2000, France had become Iraq's largest supplier of military and dual-use equipment, according to a senior member of Congress who reportedly declined to be identified.

2003 raid on the People's Mujahedin of Iran


In June 2003 French police raided the People's Mujahedin (PMOI)'s properties, including its base in Auvers-sur-Oise
Auvers-sur-Oise
Auvers-sur-Oise is a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris. It is associated with several famous artists, the most prominent being Vincent van Gogh.-History:...

, under the orders of anti-terrorist magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière
Jean-Louis Bruguière
Jean-Louis Bruguière was the leading French investigating magistrate in charge of counter-terrorism affairs. He was appointed in 2004 vice-president of the Paris Court of Serious Claims . He has garnered controversy for various acts, including the indictment of Rwandan president Paul Kagame for the...

, after suspicions that it was trying to shift its base of operations there. 160 suspected MEK members were then arrested, 40 went into a hunger strike
Hunger strike
A hunger strike is a method of non-violent resistance or pressure in which participants fast as an act of political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt in others, usually with the objective to achieve a specific goal, such as a policy change. Most hunger strikers will take liquids but not...

 to protest against the repression, and ten immolated
Self-immolation
Self-immolation refers to setting oneself on fire, often as a form of protest or for the purposes of martyrdom or suicide. It has centuries-long traditions in some cultures, while in modern times it has become a type of radical political protest...

 themselves in various European capitals in protestation against the raids. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 (UMP
Union for a Popular Movement
The Union for a Popular Movement is a centre-right political party in France, and one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the center-left Socialist Party...

) declared that the MEK "recently wanted to make France its support base, notably after the intervention in Iraq," while Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, head of the DST
Direction de la surveillance du territoire
The Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire was a directorate of the French National Police operating as a domestic intelligence agency. It was responsible for counterespionage, counterterrorism and more generally the security of France against foreign threats and interference...

, France's domestic intelligence service, claimed that the group was "transforming its Val d'Oise centre [near Paris] ... into an international terrorist base".

US Senator Sam Brownback
Sam Brownback
Samuel Dale "Sam" Brownback is the 46th and current Governor of Kansas. A member of the Republican Party, he served as a U.S. Senator from Kansas from 1996 to 2011, and as a U.S. Representative for Kansas's 2nd congressional district from 1995 to 1996...

, Republican of Kansas and chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee on South Asia, then accused the French of doing "the Iranian government's dirty work". Along with other congressmen, he wrote a letter of protest to President Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

, while longtime OMPI supporters such as Sheila Jackson-Lee, Democrat of Texas, criticized Maryam Radjavi's arrest.

However, the MEK members were quickly released, in the French action against the National Council of Resistance of Iran
National Council of Resistance of Iran
The National Council of Resistance of Iran , founded in 1981 in France, is the parliament in exile of the "Iranian Resistance", and is a political umbrella coalition of five Iranian opposition political organizations, the largest organization being the People's Mujahedin of Iran.The President-elect...

 (NCRI) have been accused of being parts of negotiation between Paris and Tehran, concerning the nuclear program and maybe also some business deals. The MEK claims that after three years, there is nothing in the files that would implicate the NCRI and Mrs. Rajavi in any wrong doing and the case has essentially died.

As of 2007, the PMOI have received support from many members of the political and judicial classes, from different backgrounds.

Economic relations


With 6.25% of the market share in exports to Iran, France was Iran’s sixth-leading supplier in 2005.http://www.payvand.com/news/06/may/1046.html Iran is France’s 27th customer (its third-leading customer in the Middle East). Fifty-five percent of French exports are concentrated in the automotive sector. French companies are also very active in the oil industry, rail and shipping transport, and the financial sector. For the most part, imports from Iran are crude oil. Altogether, 3% of French hydrocarbon imports come from Iran. A reciprocal agreement protecting and encouraging investment signed by the French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade on 12 May 2003 in Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

 came into force on 13 November 2004. Iran’s Minister of Commerce, Mr. Mohammad Shariat-Madari, made an official visit to France from 20 through 23 January 2004. The French Secretary of State for Transport and the Sea, Mr. François Goulard, went to Iran on 20 June 2004, on the occasion of the resumption of Air France’s
Air France
Air France , stylised as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, , and is one of the world's largest airlines. It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance...

 Paris-Tehran flights. The nuclear issue will determine any changes in the business climate in Iran. France and its European partners have emphasized to Iran the promising prospects that would result from a negotiated solution. However, the present worsening of the nuclear crisis could damage France's economic cooperation with Iran in the long run.

IKCO cooperation with France’s Peugeot
Peugeot
Peugeot is a major French car brand, part of PSA Peugeot Citroën, the second largest carmaker based in Europe.The family business that precedes the current Peugeot company was founded in 1810, and manufactured coffee mills and bicycles. On 20 November 1858, Emile Peugeot applied for the lion...

 dates back to more than two decades ago and seven different Peugeot models accounted for about 64 percent of the total of 542,000 passenger cars and pickups produced by IKCO in 2007. IKCO and Iran’s second-largest car company, Saipa, produce Logan in a joint venture with France’s Renault
Renault
Renault S.A. is a French automaker producing cars, vans, and in the past, autorail vehicles, trucks, tractors, vans and also buses/coaches. Its alliance with Nissan makes it the world's third largest automaker...

.

Diplomatic relations


The most recent bilateral visits of political leaders occurred during the first half of 2005:
  • President Khatami met with the French President in Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

     on 5 April 2005, on the sidelines of a conference at UNESCO
    UNESCO
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

    , where he gave an address on the dialogue between civilizations. The Minister received his Iranian counterpart, Mr. Kamal Kharazi, who was accompanying the Iranian President.
  • Mr. Xavier Darcos
    Xavier Darcos
    Xavier Darcos is a French politician, scholar and civil servant currently serving as Minister of Labour.An agrégé professor in literature and general inspector of the National Education system, he has been Mayor of Périgueux, a Senator, and a junior minister in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's...

    , the Minister Delegate for Cooperation, Development and Francophony, went to Tehran and Bam on 22–23 May 2005.


The declarations made by the Iranian President promoting the destruction of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and negating the Nazi genocide have been strongly condemned by the French President. Iran’s ambassador was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 27 October 2005 regarding this matter. The French government has expressed its concerns to the Iranian government about the human rights situation in Iran. On 12 December 2005, the Prime Minister awarded the French Human Rights Prize to the wife of Emadeddin Baqi, an Iranian dissident who fights for prisoners’ rights and against the death penalty in Iran. In the context of its policy supporting defenders of human rights, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Iranian chargé d'affaires to Paris in August 2005 to express its concerns regarding the fate of journalist, Akbar Gandji, and his lawyer, Mr. Soltani (who was awarded the French Human Rights Prize in December 2003 on behalf of the Human Rights Defence Centre, of which Ms. Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is the President).

Iran’s Ambassador in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Mr. Sadegh Kharazi
Sadegh Kharazi
Seyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharazi is an Iranian diplomat who has served twice as Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister.He started his career in the government in 1983 during the Iran–Iraq War as a member of the Supreme Defense Council of Iran and the IRIB. He is Iran's former ambassador to the UN , and France...

, ceased to hold office on 22 November 2005. His successor Ali Ahani is currently the new Ambassador under President Ahmadinejad.

The Franco-Iranian relation has cooled off in recent years. Some leaders of MKO were admitted to France and they have actively campaigned against the Islamic regime. Since election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005, the relation has become more contentious. In January 2006, Jacques Chirac threatened to launch nuclear attack on Iran. In 2009 Ahmadinejad's re-election, France supported the opposition candidates, who lost the election. The Iranian movie maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf resided in France during the run-off to the elections in 2009 and was spreading anti-government propaganda and promoting the Green velvet revolution. Also, Iran accused the French embassy for having a role in instigating post election protest via its embassy personnel in Tehran.

Late August 2010, Iran's state-run daily paper Kayhan
Kayhan
Kayhan is an influential newspaper in Iran. Directly under the supervision of the Office of the Supreme Leader, it is regarded to be "the most conservative Iranian newspaper."...

 called France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy
Carla Bruni
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is an Italian-French songwriter, singer, actress, and former model...

 a 'prostitute' after she had condemned the stoning sentence against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani , is an Iranian woman who has gained the attention of human rights groups and people throughout the world for a conviction of adultery and accompanying sentence of death by stoning. Since 2006, she has been imprisoned and under a death sentence in Tabriz, Iran after being...

 for adultery in an open letter, along with several French celebrities. The paper later also called for Bruni to be put to death for supporting Sakineh Ashtiani, and for what the paper described as Bruni's moral corruption and having had extra-marital affairs herself. Even though Kayhan is a state-sponsored paper and it continued its tirade against Bruni along with other state-run Iranian media, Iranian officials tried to distance themselves from that violent stance, while a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry criticized the comments as being 'unacceptable'. The incident rapidly found its way into the Iranian domestic politics.

Cultural, scientific and technical relations


Cooperation relations are managed in the context of the general arrangement of 14 September 1993 and the cultural arrangement of 31 January 1999. Four priorities have been established:
  • The promotion of inter-university partnerships and advanced French training. France is the sixth-leading country in terms of hosting Iranian scholars. Actions supporting university cooperation conducted by the embassy in Tehran
    Tehran
    Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

     (welcoming and guiding students, improving language skills, providing networking opportunities with former scholars) are to be grouped together in a centre for university information and exchange.
  • Increased French instruction in Iran’s secondary and higher education. Several public secondary schools in Iran offered French classes in Autumn 2003.
  • Many borrowed words from French, and language similarities.
  • The promotion of scientific partnerships (seismology
    Seismology
    Seismology is the scientific study of earthquakes and the propagation of elastic waves through the Earth or through other planet-like bodies. The field also includes studies of earthquake effects, such as tsunamis as well as diverse seismic sources such as volcanic, tectonic, oceanic,...

    , biology
    Biology
    Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

    , environmental sciences, town planning, human and social sciences
    Social sciences
    Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

    , veterinary medicine
    Veterinary medicine
    Veterinary Medicine is the branch of science that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in non-human animals...

    ) in compliance with the rules of vigilance and with Iranian co-financing. A two-year integrated action programme (called “Gundishapur”) ended in July 2004.
  • Bidirectional development in cultural dialogue. The embassy provides volunteer translation and publication services and organizes cultural and scientific events. The French Research Institute in Iran is the only foreign research centre authorized to take part in disseminating information about Iranian culture
    Culture of Iran
    To best understand Iran, Afghanistan, their related societies and their people, one must first attempt to acquire an understanding of their culture. It is in the study of this area where the Persian identity optimally expresses itself...

    .

See also


  • Foreign relations of France
    Foreign relations of France
    A charter member of the United Nations, France holds one of the permanent seats in the Security Council and is a member of most of its specialized and related agencies.-Nicolas Sarkozy:...

  • Foreign relations of Iran
    Foreign relations of Iran
    Foreign relations of Iran refers to inter-governmental relationships between Iran and other countries. Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the newly-born Islamic Republic, under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, dramatically reversed the pro-Western foreign policy of the last Shah of Iran,...



External links