Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says no to lunch as Hollande refuses to remove wine from menu
A lunch between French President Francois Hollande and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani was cancelled after France refused to remove wine from the menu.
Paris: A lunch between French President Francois Hollande and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani was cancelled after France refused to remove wine from the menu.
An Iranian delegation, which is on a business trip of Europe after economic sanctions were lifted, has requested a halal menu. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was due to lunch with Hollande in the French capital.
Iran had made a similar request to Italy also, which was accepted and the Italians ensured a halal menu without wine.
Apart from discourse on food menu, France and Iran inked $25 billion (22 billion euros) deals under which Iran will purchase 73 long-haul and 45 medium-haul Airbus passenger planes to update its ageing fleet.
The countries signed a memorandum of understanding because the aircraft deal cannot be finalised until sanctions are fully lifted.
A commitment for Tehran to buy 118 Airbus aircraft was the most eye-catching of the deals that also included agreements for carmaker Peugeot to return to Iran and for Total to buy Iranian crude oil.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart Francois Hollande hailed a "new relationship" between their countries Thursday as the leader of the Islamic Republic visited Paris to seal a host of post-sanctions deals.
The Iranian president called earlier for both countries to take advantage of the "positive atmosphere" following the lifting of sanctions over the Islamic Republic`s nuclear programme.
"Let us forget the resentment," Rouhani said. "We are ready to turn the page" and establish a "new relationship", he said.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Iran "can count on France".
Rouhani was welcomed to Paris with military honours and national anthems before addressing business leaders.