Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has arrived in Italy at the start of a European visit, his first trip abroad since sanctions against his country were lifted. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Iran’s Rouhani arrives in Italy in first trip abroad since sanctions lifted
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Rome on Monday (January 25) in his first official trip abroad since the lifting of sanctions against his country.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella greeted Rouhani at the presidential palace in central Rome where the two leaders are expected to hold brief talks.
An Italian government source said shortly before the meeting that Italian companies will sign commercial agreements with Iran worth between 15 billion and 17 billion euros ($16.2 and $18.4 billion) during Rouhani’s visit.
Leading a 120-strong delegation that includes Iranian entrepreneurs as well as the oil and gas minister and other government officials, Rouhani will spend two and-a-half days in the Italian capital before traveling to Paris.
The Iranian president, a pragmatist elected in 2013 on a platform to reduce Iran’s isolation, championed the deal under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for the lifting of U.S., EU and United Nations sanctions this month.
A week after nearly all sanctions were lifted, French and Italian officials still do not expect major deals to be signed yet during the trip. Rouhani himself has spoken of a “long road” to Iran’s economic integration with the world.
Later on Monday Rouhani will meet with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the two are expected to address reporters following their talks.
On Tuesday (January 26), after speaking to business leaders, Rouhani will head to the Vatican for talks with Pope Francis.
After the nuclear deal, the pope said he hoped it would be the start of “a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world”.