France and Qatar signed a 6.3 billion euro ($7.02 billion) deal on Monday for the sale of 24 Rafale fighter jets, an accord President Francois Hollande hailed as a mark of Gulf Arab regard for French regional strategy including its firm line on Iran.

The contract – the third this year for Dassault AVMD.PA after deals to sell Rafale jets to Egypt and India – also includes MBDA missiles, and the training of 36 Qatari pilots and 100 technicians by the French military.

Officials said the accord signed by Hollande and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani also provided for the training of a number of Qatari intelligence officers. […]