Europe

France looks to fan nuke deal momentum with Iran's minister

  • In this photo taken on Feb. 7, 2016, A Iranian Mahan Air passenger plane takes off as a plane of Iran's national air carrier, Iran Air, is parked at left, at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran. Boeing Co. said Tuesday it signed an agreement with Iran Air "expressing the airline's intent" to buy its aircraft, setting up the biggest business deal between the Islamic Republic and America since the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

    In this photo taken on Feb. 7, 2016, A Iranian Mahan Air passenger plane takes off as a plane of Iran's national air carrier, Iran Air, is parked at left, at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran. Boeing Co. said Tuesday it signed an agreement with Iran Air "expressing the airline's intent" to buy its aircraft, setting up the biggest business deal between the Islamic Republic and America since the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)  (The Associated Press)

  • French President Francois Hollande, right, faces Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Thursday June 22, 2016. Iran's foreign minister is holding a string of meetings in Paris to seek benefits from a nuclear accord, hoping to maintain the momentum toward change before it runs out. (Jeremy Lempin, Pool via AP)

    French President Francois Hollande, right, faces Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Thursday June 22, 2016. Iran's foreign minister is holding a string of meetings in Paris to seek benefits from a nuclear accord, hoping to maintain the momentum toward change before it runs out. (Jeremy Lempin, Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Iran's foreign minister is holding a string of meetings in Paris to seek benefits from a nuclear accord, hoping to maintain the momentum toward change before it runs out.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, who has been making the rounds of European capitals, meets Wednesday with President Francois Hollande and is paying visits to France's foreign and finance ministries.

France has been a leader in reaching out to a post-sanctions Iran, with a string of business deals announced soon after the international nuclear accord with Iran was implemented in January.

The deal gave Iran relief from decades of crippling sanctions in exchange for curbing its nuclear program. But capitalizing on it has been slow-going.

France also wants to use bilateral ties to coax Tehran away from actively supporting Syria's Bashar Assad.