Iranian hardliner finds 'faults' in Renault deal

13th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, Oct 13 (AFP) - A prominent deputy in Iran's hardline-controlled parliament has found "faults" in a deal with French carmaker Renault amid increased scrutiny by hardliners of contracts with foreign firms, state news agency IRNA reported Wednesday.

TEHRAN, Oct 13 (AFP) - A prominent deputy in Iran's hardline-controlled parliament has found "faults" in a deal with French carmaker Renault amid increased scrutiny by hardliners of contracts with foreign firms, state news agency IRNA reported Wednesday.  

"The contract is not free of faults or ambiguities," said Ahmad Tavakoli,  who heads the parliamentary research center. "If they are not corrected, parliament will use its authority to protect the nation's interests and workforce."  

The parliament, or Majlis, already gave itself last month the right to veto an airport operating contract signed with a Turkish-led consortium and a deal with Turkcell, Turkey's biggest mobile phone operator, to set up the first Iranian private mobile phone network.  

The move was an embarrassing blow to President Mohammad Khatami, whose government signed the deals, and reformists in the government have accused hardline deputies of simply being against foreign investment.   Since throwing into doubt the Turksih deals, hardliners have set their eyes on the Renault deal.  

Tavakoli did not offer any explanations about the nature of the "faults", but insisted it was the right of the Majlis to inspect foreign contracts and said foreign companies "wanting to make a profit in Iran must consider our national interests".  

Renault earlier this year signed a deal with Iranian partners to produce the L-90, a budget car designed to fill a major gap in the booming Iranian market.  

Renault executives here have put the initial investment by the company at some EUR 300 million, but said that could more than double over the next few years.  

It would be the largest direct and long-term investment in Iran by a French company since the formation of the Islamic republic in 1979. In the deal, Renault holds a 51 percent stake.  

Hardliners and conservatives took control of the Iranian parliament after most reformists and moderates loyal to the government were barred from standing in polls in February.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article