Renault crashes into Iranian conservatives

6th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, Oct 6 (AFP) - Iran's conservative-controlled parliament has begun to examine a contract signed French carmaker Renault in a potential threat to yet another major foreign investment deal scored by the reformist government, a senior MP said Wednesday.

TEHRAN, Oct 6 (AFP) - Iran's conservative-controlled parliament has begun to examine a contract signed French carmaker Renault in a potential threat to yet another major foreign investment deal scored by the reformist government, a senior MP said Wednesday.  

"After complaints from several deputies, we are in the process of examining the Renault contract," said Mohammad Reza Faker, who heads the parliamentary commission charged with examining public complaints.  

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 is 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.  

In August, the deputy chairman of parliament's industry committee, conservative Hamid-Reza Katuzian, criticized the contract, saying it threatened the "country's industrial independence and should be stopped immediately."  

Katuzian said it would be "more opportune to improve the quality of national production than to blindly import" foreign technology.  

But Ahmad Mahdavi, the committee's spokesman, said the examination of the deal did not mean it would be cancelled.  

"The committee supports this contract. But if deputies see there is a problem we will demand the industry ministry sort them out. But so far we have not noticed any particular problems," he told AFP.  

Parliament voted last month to give itself 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, forcing him to cancel a visit to Turkey scheduled for Tuesday.  

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

 

 

 

 

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