Iran Daily: France’s Peugeot Joins Withdrawal from Tehran

The French auto manufacturer PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, is the latest major international firm to leave Iran amid the threat of expanded US sanctions.

PSA said in a statement that it “has begun to suspend its JVs [joint ventures] activities, in order to comply with US law by August 6th, 2018”. The company added that it is working with the French Government to seek a waiver from the Trump Administration’s demand that all foreign companies with American interests cut ties with the Islamic Republic by early November.

PSA and fellow automaker Renault were among the first European companies re-establishing business in Iran after implementation of the July 2015 nuclear agreement, with lifting of European and international sanctions, in January 2016.

PSA signed production deals worth 700 million euros ($822 million) while Renault announced investment to increase its production capacity in Iran to 350,000 vehicles a year.

PSA sold 445,000 cars in Iran last year — about 12% of a global total of 3.63 million vehicles — mainly the supermini Peugeot 206 and the 405 family car. However, the company said that, as “operations in Iran represent less than 1% of its turnover”, withdrawal did not “alter…overall objectives”.

Since Donald Trump confirmed on May 9 that the US is leaving the nuclear deal, companies suspending links with Iran including French energy giant Total, which was planning a $4.9 billion investment in the South Pars gas field; France’s Airbus, which had contracted to deliver 100 passenger planes to Tehran; German insurance company Allianz; leading shipping firm Maersk; and America’s General Electric.

Europeans Send Letter Seeks Exemptions from US Sanctions

The European Union and three European powers — UK, France, and Germany — in the nuclear deal have sent a letter to the Trump Administration seeking exemptions from the expanded American sanctions:

As allies, we expect that the US will refrain from taking action to harm Europe’s security interests….US secondary sanctions could prevent the EU from continuing meaningful sanctions relief to Iran.

The Europeans noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency has reported on 11 occasions since the agreement that Iran is fulfilling its obligations: “As close allies we expect that the extraterritorial effects of US secondary sanctions will not be enforced on EU entities and individuals, and that the US will thus respect our political decision and the good faith of economic operators within EU legal territory.”

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire posted the letter, dated June 4, on his Twitter account:

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

6 COMMENTS

  1. European refiners winding down purchases of Iranian oil: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-oil-europe/european-refiners-winding-down-purchases-of-iranian-oil-idUSKCN1J21F0

    European refiners are winding down oil purchases from Iran, closing the door on a fifth of the OPEC member’s crude exports after the United States imposed sanctions on Tehran, company and trading sources said.Refiners including France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Saras, Spain’s Repsol and Cepsa as well as Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum are preparing to halt purchases of Iranian oil once sanctions bite, the sources said.” These refiners account for most of Europe’s purchases of Iranian crude, which represent around a fifth of the country’s oil exports.
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  2. European refiners are slowing down oil buys from Iran, shutting the entryway on a fifth of the OPEC part’s rough fares after the Assembled States forced authorizes on Tehran, organization and exchanging sources said.Refiners including France’s Aggregate, Italy’s Eni and Saras, Spain’s Repsol and Cepsa and in addition Greece’s Hellenic Oil are getting ready to stop buys of Iranian oil once endorses nibble, the sources said.” These refiners represent the vast majority of Europe’s buys of Iranian unrefined, which speak to around a fifth of the nation’s oil sends out.

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