Iran, France giant carmakers meet on resuming ties

TEHRAN - The boss of French carmaker Peugeot Citroen has held talks with his Iranian joint venture partner to consider returning to the country, the official IRNA news agency reported Monday.

According to IRNA, the 10-hour meeting between Peugeot Citroen chief executive Maxime Picat and Hashem Yeke Zare, the boss of car manufacturer Iran Khodro, was aimed at exploring "new scope for cooperation".

"Fulfilment of the previous commitments, transferring the technical know-how, mutual production of cars as well as selling Iran Khodro's vehicles through the French exporting network were discussed and reviewed during the meeting," the report said.

The meeting took place last week, a source close to the talks told AFP.

Iran's car-making industry has been battered for more than a year by international sanctions imposed by the West amid suspicion over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Spooked by the international sanctions, Peugeot left Iran in spring 2012. It sold 458,000 vehicles the previous year in the Islamic republic.

In November, Iran and world powers reached an interim deal in Geneva, with Tehran agreeing to partly roll back its nuclear work in exchange for limited sanctions relief, including the removal of measures targeting the car industry. In 2011, Iran had the 11th largest car market in the world and was the 13th largest automobile producer.