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Iran urges France not to miss out on $80b. of transport deals

PARIS - Iran's transport minister said on Tuesday there was about $80 billion worth of business up for grabs in his sector, including the renewal of the country's air fleet, but warned France it risked missing out unless it changed its stance towards Tehran.
France is one of six world powers negotiating with Iran over its disputed nuclear program and has been one of the toughest in pressing for restrictions to prevent it from acquiring an atomic bomb, although it denies seeking one.All sides are seeking a deal by June 30 that would reward Iran with relief from international sanctions, meaning it could soon collect debts from overseas banks that may exceed $100 billion.
That has prompted an Iranian diplomatic charm offensive across the world as it looks to attract companies to invest across all sectors, from its ageing hydrocarbon-based energy system to transport and general construction.
"There is no Iran strategy in France, and this is a source of regret," Transport Minister Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi told a conference at the International Diplomatic Academy in Paris.
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