Ambassador: Once sanctions off, German companies will first return to Iran

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 2 / Trend, N. Umid, S. Isayev

The German companies will be the first private sector companies which return to Iran if sanctions are lifted, the German Ambassador to Tehran, Michael Freiherr von Ungern-Sternberg said, Iranian Donya-e-eqtesad newspaper reported.

He made the remarks during a visit to Tehran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.

The Ambassador expressed satisfaction on steps being taken to reduce tensions in Iran-West relations.

"German-made goods are highly popular among Iranian people," head of the Tehran's Chamber, Yahya Al-e Es'haq said during the meeting.

Al-e Es'haq criticized reduction of bilateral trade value during last ten years, adding that two countries` trade turnover stood at some $3 billions during last solar year (ended on March 21).

According to the Statistical office of the European Union-Eurostat, Iran-Germany trade turnover has reached some 1.056 billion euros during first six months of the current year, which indicates a decrease by 23 percent compared to the same period last year.

The AFP news agency reported that French energy giant Total will return to Iran, if international sanctions are lifted on petroleum exports, chief executive Christophe de Margerie said at an industry conference on Tuesday.

His comments followed a recent thawing in US-Iran relations, which could possibly lead to an easing of Western sanctions on the OPEC crude producer and allow it to export oil more freely.

"Today there is an embargo. This embargo is valid for everybody and we will wait for this embargo to be lifted."

De Margerie hoped that this would happen "as soon as possible".

Iran's economy has been crippled by a series of UN and US sanctions aimed at bringing an end to its nuclear programme, which the West claims is being used to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the assertion.

On Friday, US President Barack Obama and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani spoke by phone in the first direct contact between leaders of their estranged nations since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

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