Renault, Peugeot will never be allowed to return to Iran: Minister

Iran’s minister of industries says French car giants Renault and Peugeot will never be allowed to return to the Iranian market given their records on reneging on promises.

Reza Rahmani said on Tuesday that Iran will reconsider deals signed with the two major automakers for joint investment in Iran.

The comments covered in IRIB News come days after the minister lashed out at Renault and Peugeot for their lack of respect for commitments on Iran.

Rahmani said over the weekend that the two automakers had violated the most basic laws governing partnerships and trade when they unilaterally abandoned their projects in Iran at the time of increased American pressure on the country.

“Renault and Peugeot treated us very badly, contrary to (their) commitments and any principle on cooperation and trade,” said Rahmani.

PSA Peugeot said in June last year that it would suspend its joint venture activities in Iran to avoid imminent sanctions by the United States. Renault, whose market activity in Iran was outpacing that of long-established Peugeot, did the same under American threats.

Iranian authorities have said the two companies would pay damages for their sudden withdrawal although there has not been any official confirmation from the two on the issue.

However, Rahmani said Iran would not allow the two carmakers to resume business in Iran once the country gets rid of the sanctions.

“We told them to go and never return again, that means if the sanctions are lifted, they would have no place (here),” said the minister, adding that Peugeot and Renault left Iran despite commitments enshrined in agreements between presidents of Iran and France.

The Iran Khodro Company (IKCO), the main business partner for Peugeot in Iran over the past decades, said earlier this year that it had started production for a major model of the cars owned by the French company.

It said at the time that the move was meant to show to Peugeot that its decision to leave Iran would lead to huge losses, including its inability to benefit from mass production and sale of its cars.

Recent reports have suggested that both Peugeot and Renault have suffered major losses in their international sales since leaving the Iranian market.

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