French carmaker Renault will maintain its presence in Iran despite the threat of renewed US sanctions, CEO Carlos Ghosn said.
“We will not abandon it, even if we have to downsize very strongly,” Ghosn said at the annual shareholders’ meeting in Paris on Friday, AFP reported.
“When the market reopens, the fact of having stayed will certainly give us an advantage,” he predicted.
US President Donald Trump announced in May that he was pulling out of the hard-fought 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers.
The US exit means renewed US sanctions on Tehran, while foreign companies doing business there will face penalties if they do not quit the country in between 90 and 180 days.
Companies including aircraft maker Boeing, French energy giant Total and Danish shipping group Maersk have announced plans to pull out.
Renault’s rival PSA, which produces the Peugeot and Citroen brands, has also announced it will quit Iran due to the threat of the US sanctions.
But Ghosn signaled that Renault, which counted 160,000 cars sold in Iran last year out of its total 3.76 million, would try to stay in the country.
“We have a future in Iran,” he insisted.
“However, we are not going to do so to the detriment of Renault’s interests — we will be watching closely to make sure our presence in Iran does not provoke direct or indirect reprisal measures on the part of American authorities.”
Ghosn said a Renault team working on the issue was “in direct contact with the American administration to work out what can be done and what cannot be done”.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)