Daimler also retreats from Iran because of American sanctions
The important German vehicle manufacturer, Daimler, has already announced that it will “cease its limited activities” in Iran following the decision of the Trump administration to carry on with the sanctions against Iran.
There was a project for expanding business in Iran, e.g. manufacturing and selling Mercedes trucks in the country in a partnership with local enterprises, but that has been suspended now. Apart from the threat of Trump Daimler also gives the “unfavourable evolution of the Iranian economy and its car market” as a reason of the withdrawal.
In a tweet yesterday, American president Trump has confirmed to go through with the planned sanctions against Iran (restraining financial transactions and the import of certain goods, especially cars and aviation equipment). Trump launched a warning against all countries trading with Iran: “Whoever trades with Iran, will NOT be trading with the United States”.
Quite a number of car manufacturers have already substantially reduced their commitment in Iran, e.g. the PSA Group that has an important partnership and sales network in Iran and intended to increase that.
The other big French manufacturer, Renault, is more hesitating, not wanting to let business in Iran go completely but trying to act “in the best interest of the company”. During the first half of this year Renault saw its car sales drop by 10,3%, totalling 61.354 units.
The move of Daimler could have an influence on the pending decision of another big German manufacturer, the Volkwagen Group, which is considering things and watching everything that happens now very closely.
It is clear that the European Union is not happy at all with what’s going on now and strongly rejects the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear agreement, concluded by all major players in the world in 2016, including the US.
For the moment the EU is still acting primarily on the diplomatic front but is thinking of other alliances (with Russia, China,…) to counter the unilateral American decisions. Of course this is walking on a tight rope when you always want to defend human rights and you suddenly have countries like Iran, Syria and others as ‘allies’.