Publishe Date: 7:33 PM - 1/25/2014 | Print

French carmakers hope to return to Iran

Economy - Two leading French carmakers hope to return to Iran as sanctions are easing on the Islamic Republic following the implementation of Tehran’s nuclear deal with the world powers.

Renault and Peugeot used to supply about 100,000 and 458,000 kits a year for final assembly to Iran, respectively, before they had to leave due to US-led sanctions.

Over the past two years, the two carmakers’ production has plummeted almost 50 percent due to the sanctions.

On Thursday, Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said, “We consider that this is a potentially great market for the car industry and we want to be able to launch again the operation immediately when the sanctions are lifted.”

Meanwhile, a delegation of some of the biggest French companies plan to visit Iran next month to seek business opportunities.

The visit by France’s Medef bosses' association, is scheduled for Feb. 2-5. GDF Suez, Alstom, Veolia Environnement and Safran are among the French companies sending representatives to Tehran.

France’s former ambassador to Tehran, Francois Nicoullaud, said last week that French firms that operated in Iran before the imposition of sanctions, including Peugeot, Renault, Credit Agricole, Airbus Group, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas, are willing to return.

On January 20, the EU Council suspended part of its sanctions against Iran according to the Geneva nuclear deal between Tehran and the Sextet of world powers – the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany -, which was signed last November.

The decision was adopted in the course of the regular monthly meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed earlier in the day that Iran had halted 20-percent enrichment of uranium under the Geneva agreement.

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