Following removal of international sanctions on Iran, two of France’s largest construction groups—VINCI Group S.A. and Bouygues Group—have signed deals that could lead to major contracts to upgrade and operate three of the former pariah state's largest airports.

The Jan. 28 memoranda of understanding were signed during the state visit to France of Iran  President Hassan Rouhani.

VINCI Group, Paris, signed a memorandum of understanding that will open the way for contracts this year to renew, expand and operate two airports. The larger airport, at Mashhad, is 900 kilometers east of the capital, Tehran, and served 8.2 million passengers in 2014. The deal also covers the airport at Isfahan, which is located 450 km south of the capital and handled 2.6 million passengers in 2014.

A second memorandum of understanding triggered three months of exclusive negotiations with an Aéroports de Paris S.A.-led consortium over a potential contract to renovate the existing terminal at Tehran’s Iman Khomeini International Airport.

The deal also would cover design, construction and operation of new terminals. Bouygues Bâtiment International, part of Paris-based Bouygues Group, is the consortium’s construction partner.