Publishe Date: 1:44 PM - 1/26/2014 | Print

French Giant Automakers Keen to Return to Iran's Market

Economy - Removal of sanctions on Iran following the implementation of the Geneva nuclear deal between Tehran and the six major world powers has opened doors of the country's lucrative market to the foreign companies, including French carmakers.

Tow leading French carmakers of 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.

On November 24, Iran and the world powers sealed a six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program. In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.

Then after several rounds of experts talks on how to enforce the agreement, Iran and the six major world powers finalized an agreement on ways to implement the deal.

On Monday, a confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Iran has halted its 20-percent enrichment activity under a ground-breaking deal struck with the six world powers in Geneva late in November, paving the way for the easing of some western sanctions against Tehran.

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