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

PARIS – 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.