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Air France has resumed flights to Iran after last year’s landmark deal to curb Iranian nuclear activities, as part of larger French and European efforts to rebuild trade ties long frozen by sanctions.

A direct flight for Tehran left Paris on Sunday for the first time since 2008 when the connection was suspended.

French Transport Minister Alain Vidalies and a business leaders’ delegation were on board flight AF 378 that took off from Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport after noon.

Air France CEO Frederic Gagey was optimistic the line would prove profitable. He said “it’s a touristic destination which I believe is going to become very popular, very attractive.”

Air France is also counting on Paris to become a hub for American and other tourists headed to Tehran.

Photo Credit: Air France resumes flights to Iran after last year's landmark deal to curb Iranian nuclear activities, as part of larger French and European efforts to rebuild trade ties long frozen by sanctions. Francois Mori / Associated Press