Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in Europe as he tries to drum up trade and investment with European businesses after years of sanctions and economic and diplomatic isolation.
In his first visit to Europe since his election in 2013, Rouhani and his 120-strong entourage of business leaders and ministers began their continental tour in Rome on Monday and are due to head off to France on Wednesday. Already multi billion-dollar deals worth up to 17 billion euros ($18.4 billion) have been signed, according to Italian officials quoted by Reuters.
Among the deals struck on Monday were a pipeline contract worth between $4 billion and $5 billion for oil services group Saipem, up to 5.7 billion euros in contracts for Italian steel firm Danieli and up to 4 billion euros of business for infrastructure firm Condotte d’Acqua, Reuters added.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Rouhani had held “held friendly and constructive talks geared towards enhancing bilateral cooperation and deepening consultation on the main regional and international issues,” the Italian government statement said on Monday.