The Shah of Iran arrived in Paris on Monday (24 June) for a seven-day state visit to France.
The Shah of Iran arrived in Paris on Monday (24 June) for a seven-day state visit to France. His arrival coincided with controversial reports that his country may soon have nuclear weapons.
The Iranian ruler was quoted by a French magazine as saying that Iran would one day have atomic weapons -- "and sooner than one would think". But, in Tehran, a Government spokesman was quick to deny the report. He rejected it as a "complete falsehood".
At a dinner banquet given in his honour by French President Giscard D'Estaing at the palace of Versailles (on the outskirts of Paris), the Shah advocated closer economic co-operation between France and Iran. He said he planned to discuss, in detail, a series of major projects -- including the construction of five nuclear power plants by France in Iran.
Later that evening, the Shah and Empress of Iran, with President Giscard and his wife, watched a ballet in Versailles' King Louis XV Theatre. This was followed by a fireworks display in the palace gardens, which was also watched by thousands of Parisians and the people of Versailles.
The Shah's visit to France follows the signing recently of a multi-million-dollar long-term co-operation agreement in energy-development and industrialisation between the two countries. Iran's order of five nuclear power stations and other projects under the agreement in worth some 5,000 million U.S. dollars (about 2,400 million pounds sterling).
This is the Iranian Monarchs' second state visit to France in ten years.