Former French Prime Minister Visits Tehran

Article Summary
Are Iran-France relations about to change significantly? in light of a visit to Tehran by a former French Prime Minister, Michel Rocard, a member of the Socialist Party, sources close to Nicolas Sarkozy are asking Francois Hollande for clarification on his Iran policy.

Political sources in Paris claim that Michel Rocard’s visit to Tehran is a symbol of diplomatic feelers put out by Paris. In response to speculation, Francois Hollande’s office said that Rocard is “not a delegate of the president-elect, and is not carrying any message on his behalf.”

However, according to French reports, the rank of those who met with Rocard, 81, is considerably higher than those who normally meet with visitors whose official purpose for visiting is a talk at a local university. Rocard met, for example, with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, who “congratulated Francois Hollande on his victory” and expressed hope that “he will lead the new approach to the development of relations between the two countries on all matters.”

Rocard also met yesterday with the Iranian delegate on nuclear negotiations, Saeed Jalili, who also serves as the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, and with the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s committee for foreign policy, Alaeddin Boroujerdi.

In light of the developments, it was reported yesterday in France that western diplomats are concerned about weakening the strict European stance on Tehran, which is likely to come to light in less than two weeks, when the representatives of the six world powers meet with Jalili for another round of talks in Baghdad.  

Found in: teheran, rocard, iran, hollande, france

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