UANI calls on Mazda, Peugeot to end their business in Iran

Business Materials 16 September 2013 16:30 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 15 / Trend, S. Isayev

UANI (United Against Nuclear Iran) group calls on Japanese car manufacturer Mazda and French Peugeot to end their business in Iran, UANI (United Against Nuclear Iran U.S. group) Communications Director Nathan Carleton told Trend.

While a lot of car manufacturing companies have left Iran due to sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic, according to Carleton despite the threat of sanctions, there are still some world-known car brands that do their business in Iran. Among them are Mazda and Peugeot.

"Mazda's ongoing business in Iran is egregious given that its vehicles are produced in Iran in partnership with the Bahman Group, a manufacturing conglomerate that is 45.5 percent owned by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)," Carleton said.

He went on to note that if Mazda does not end its Iran business, it should be sanctioned under presidential Executive Order 13645, which authorizes sanctions on entities "knowingly engaged in a significant transaction for the sale, supply, or transfer to Iran of significant goods or services used in connection with the automotive sector of Iran."

Speaking of Peugeot, Carleton said that despite Peugeot's claims to have stopped its auto shipments to Iran, its vehicles are still being produced there.

Tehran Times reported in June 2013 that many Peugeot models are rolling off Iran Khodro (IKCO) production lines, as most of Peugeot models have been 100 percent localized.

This is while in February 2013, Peugeot has posted the largest annual revenue loss in its history, partly caused by the West's sanctions against Iran. Iran was the French car maker's second-biggest market in 2011 in terms of trade volume.

In February 2012, PSA Peugeot Citroen stopped its trade with Iran after the enforcement of US-led financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic for its nuclear energy program.

The French car making group also halted its exports of vehicles to Iran, which accounted for around 13 percent of the firm's global deliveries in 2011. It cost the automaker the annual sale of half a million cars and an estimated 1.5 billion euros in revenue last year.

"UANI continues to call on Peugeot to explain why its vehicles are still being manufactured en masse in Iran, and take action to stop it," Carleton underscored. "According to Iranian production statistics, 203,639 Peugeot vehicles were produced in Iran during the Persian calendar year that ended March 20, 2013."

In May 2013, the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran has announced the list of cars which are allowed to be imported in the current Iranian year. Such brands as Porsche, Benz, BMW, Maserati, and Nissan were not in the list.

According to the report, 17 car brands have been permitted to be imported in the current year. The cars include Hyundai (2 models), ABT, Alfa Romeo (2 models), MG, SsangYong, Toyota, Renault (6 models), and Kia (2 models).

Previously, 25 car brands were included in the list, such as South Korean brands (Kia and Hyundai), Chinese brands (SAIC motors), Italian brands (Fiat, Alpha Romeo), Japanese brands (Honda, Mitsubishi), German brands (ABT), and Swedish brands (Volvo).

Iran's auto sector hopes to neutralize U.S. sanctions effects with Chinese companies' help, while experts argued that, cooperation with Chinese auto production companies is a short term solution and will not be effective in long term.

In an executive order, the U.S president approved sanctions against people who do business with Iran's auto sector, which the White House said was a major source of revenue for Tehran.

The order authorizes sanctions against those who sell, supply or transfers to Iran goods or services that aid in making light and heavy vehicles such as passenger cars, trucks, buses, minibuses, pick-up trucks and motorcycles.