France likely to lose footing in Iran’s automobile market

Business Materials 3 May 2015 16:07 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, May 3

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

France's conduct in the course of the ongoing talks on Iran's nuclear program has not been much favorable.

On occasion, Paris has changed the course of the talks in a way that is more agreeable to those countries which oppose a nuclear deal with Iran.

As Iran is approaching a final nuclear agreement, there is the question how the country will conduct relations with the world after sanctions on the Islamic Republic's economy are removed.

Here, the position of France in the post-sanction perspective is seemed to be tainted and there is the concern that Iran may marginalize the European country in its post-sanction development.

It is naturally a big opportunity for any country to monopolize the automobile market in another country as big as Iran with a population of 70 million and high car import tariffs, Mohammad Lahouti, member of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce told Trend May 3.

Unfortunately, France's political behavior toward the Islamic Republic has not been in accordance with its economic relations with Iran, he noted.

"Although we used to separate political affairs from economic relations, Iran will not forget the past harsh days," the official added.

"Iran is going to maintain its relations with the world, but it will also keep an eye on political affairs."

"One may not be able to say for sure whether France's approach to Iran will leave any impact on Iran's post-sanction relations with the country," Lahouti stated.

Still, since after the removal of sanctions, gates will be opened for major car manufacturers from such countries as Germany and the US, it is not far to imagine that those companies will seek a better place in the Iranian market, he said.

According to Lahouti, some companies, such as General Motors which started projects in Iran before the 1979 revolution, have good chances to return to the Iranian market.

"So, as such companies find a new opportunity to gain their place in the Iranian market, France's footing will naturally undergo some changes," he concluded.

Mehdi Sepahvand is Trend Agency's journalist in Iran, follow him on Twitter: @mehdisepahvand