DAVOS, Switzerland Jan 23 French carmaker
Renault aims to get back into Iran as soon as
sanctions are lifted, chief executive Carlos Ghosn said on
Thursday, describing it as "a potentially great market".
Many Western firms have been anticipating a return to Iran
following a deal in November over the country's nuclear
programme, which Western countries suspect is aimed at
developing arms despite Iranian denials.
Some sanctions are now being eased but most remain pending a
"We consider that this is a potentially great market for the
car industry and we want to be able to launch again the
operation immediately when the sanctions are lifted," Ghosn told
Reuters TV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in
"Ourselves and a lot of car manufacturers would love to
contribute to the development of the Iranian market, which is
already the largest market in the Middle East despite the
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been on a drive to woo
politicians and business leaders in Davos, but Ghosn said he had
not talked to him, arguing it would be "premature" to engage
with officials before sanctions were lifted.
Production by Iran's domestic car industry, which is
unusually developed for the Middle East, peaked at 1.6 million
cars in 2011, the year crippling new sanctions were introduced.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Mark Potter)