This week saw a delegation of more than 100 representatives from France’s biggest companies visit Tehran, in the latest and most significant signal yet, that an opening of the Islamic Republic to the West could soon be on the cards. This comes as Iran confirmed the receipt of the first tranche of the $4.2bn it is to receive as part of the interim nuclear deal struck last November.

The French delegation – comprising executives of companies spanning a wide range of industries – arrived in the Iranian capital on 3 February, in what is largely considered to be the most senior group of foreign entrepreneurs to visit the country since the Islamic revolution more than 30 years ago. Companies represented included oil major Total, aviation giant Airbus, car makers Renault and Peugeot, telecom firms Orange and Alcatel, and engineering firm Alstom. (CONTINUED - 1685 WORDS)