French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will travel to Iran next week to meet with Iranian officials. This will be the first time in 12 years that a French foreign minister has visited Iran.

Laurent Fabius (L)

Laurent Fabius (L)

The last visit was by Dominique de Villepin, from the Jacques Chirac cabinet, who travelled to Iran during the presidency of reformist Mohammad Khatami.

Fabius announced the visit on Tuesday July 21, adding that the trip was instigated by an invitation from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammd Javad Zarif.

This will be the first visit by a 5+1 foreign minister since the nuclear agreement was finalized in Vienna.

Earlier, a delegation of German officials also travelled to Iran to lay the ground for restoring economic and trade relations.

Both France and Germany used to have considerable trade relations with Iran but that quickly shrank when Europe imposed sanctions on Iran in recent years.

In 2004, trade between Iran and France reached $4.4 billion but by 2013 it had fallen to only 500 million euros.