Iranian, European carmakers victims of Trump’s bullying: official (Exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, June 23
By Kamyar Eghbalnejad, A. Shirazi - Trend:
Both Iranian and European carmakers are victims of US President Donald Trump’s bully behavior, and say they are leaving Iran’s market under economic duress, a member of the presiding board of Iranian Auto Parts Manufacturers Association said.
"Both Iranian and European carmakers have fallen victim to Trump’s bullying as neither Iran nor Europe has the intention to end their [mutual] cooperation," Mohammad Reza Najafi-Manesh told Trend .
He added that the Japanese automaker Mazda, South Korea's industrial giant Hyundai and France's PSA Peugeot Citroen have suspended their joint ventures with Iran due to the threat of US sanctions and under economic duress.
Stressing that their cooperation with Iran has been temporarily suspended, he said they are all seeking to secure a waiver from the new US sanctions and return to Iran’s market.
Mazda and Hyundai have become the latest foreign companies to suspend their activities in Iran after French PSA, despite promising to stand grounds in the face of sanctions.
Najafi-Manesh further said Chinese automakers are among potential alternatives.
"We need to make an all-out effort to raise prices in the market taking into account the needs of local carmakers and auto parts manufactures."
Iran's Competition Council plans to raise prices by only 7 percent, Najafi-Manesh said, adding that this is while basic materials for producing cars have witnessed a 72 percent rise in the past two years.
The Competition Council is a government-backed body that monitors, and, in some cases, sets prices of local products, including cars.
"Iran Khodro and SAIPA need to increase their products’ prices by 19.5 and 27.5 percent each," Najafi-Manesh concluded.
In a speech from the White House on May 8, US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
The new US sanctions will take six months to kick in, but a number of European companies have already halted their businesses in Iran despite verbal pledges by their governments to protect them against any fallout.