Iran bans imports of American cars
Iran’s media reported on Tuesday that an immediate order has been issued by the relevant authorities to stop placing orders to import US-made cars into the country.
Reports have cited an unnamed official as saying that the order has been directly issued by Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh .
This, the source added, will accordingly prevent imports of as much as 200 Chevrolet cars into the country that had a collective value of $7 million.
The Chevrolets have not been imported yet and were on their way to Iran’s ports, reported Mehr News Agency.
The unnamed official further added that the cars were not originated in the US and were to be imported into Iran via South Korea.
The government had a few months ago allowed 24 models manufactured by the General Motors-owned Chevrolet to be brought in via South Korea.
However, Nematzadeh intervened to stop their imports after the Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei called for avoiding imports of American products, Mehr News Agency added.
Iran currently only allows imports of US-made vehicles in its free trade zones, but their owners face restrictions on where they can be driven.
The two countries have had no diplomatic ties since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Iran has been engaged in talks with European and Asian car manufacturers over the past few months to set up joint manufacturing plants inside the country.
Global brands including Fiat, Mercedes Benz, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault and Volkswagen have been negotiating over the same issue with the related Iranian officials.
PSA Peugeot Citroën said in January it had signed a binding contract worth €400 million with Iran Khodro to produce a range of cars in the country.
The company said it will begin by producing 200,000 cars a year in a 50:50 joint venture, producing the Peugeot 208, 2008, and 301 models.
Iranian industrial officials said on Monday that the deal with PSA Peugeot Citroën has been finalized.