President Hassan Rouhani is in Europe to drum up business for Iran, including an Italy deal worth up to $17 billion -- but in Paris the pragmatic cleric also has to deal with Tehran's human rights record as he tries to revive economic ties with France. Mana Rabiee reports.
With most sanctions on Iran lifted... the world is opening up to the Islamic Republic. Including Italy, where Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spent two days drumming up business for Iran ... reportedly up to 17 billion dollars worth. But Rouhani is also burnishing Tehran's diplomatic credentials, on this, his first official trip abroad since implementation of the Iran nuclear deal -- which has eased tensions between Iran and the U.S after decades of hostility. Still, Rouhani cautioned that a meaningful improvement in that relationship is up to the Americans. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN PRESIDENT, HASSAN ROUHANI, SAYING (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "They should stop putting pressure on the Iranian people. Whenever there is a small thing, people in the U.S. Congress get together and put a new sanction on Iran. They have not learned that the world today is not the world where there is any place for sanctions." Rouhani is in France now…. where he's getting a very different kind of welcome. In Paris, Iranian exiles are protesting Tehran's human rights record - an issue Rouhani is expected to discuss with French President Francois Holland. With France taking a hard line during the Iran nuclear talks, and condemning Tehran's role in the Syrian civil war... Rouhani's Paris visit will be low key…. as the pragmatic cleric eases Iran back into the international fold.