The price of imposing EU sanctions on Iran

5th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

5 October 2007, BRUSSELS (AFP) - Italy, Germany and France would have to pay the heaviest price for any European Union sanctions against Iran, at a time when the Islamic republic is already turning more toward Asia for its business.

5 October 2007

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Italy, Germany and France would have to pay the heaviest price for any European Union sanctions against Iran, at a time when the Islamic republic is already turning more toward Asia for its business.

The 27 EU nations' commerce with Iran stood at 37 percent of the Islamic republic's total foreign trade from March 2006 to March 2007, according to a document from the economics department of France's embassy in Tehran.

But this figure "is down compared to the two previous years", it said, because the EU is "progressively losing its share of the market to Asian countries."

Italy: Rome is Tehran's top European trading partner with two-way trade totalling 5.2 billion euros (7.3 billion dollars) in 2006, though Italian exports there decreased by 18 percent last year. Oil and gas group Eni is the biggest Italian investor in Iran, running with the Iranians the onshore oil field at Darquain and is an operator of the giant South Pars gas field. In the auto sector, Fiat is a main partner of Iran's PIDF in producing and distributing the Fiat Palio line of cars, which are specially produced for developing countries.

Germany: Berlin is Europe's top exporter to Iran, and accounts for 12 percent of all Iranian imports -- mainly through industrial equipment, metal and chemical products -- beaten only world-wide by the United Arab Emirates. After a period of spectacular growth, these figures declined in 2006. Almost all German banks stopped their activities in the Islamic republic following pressure from the United States.

France: Once ranked third in terms of market share for imported products by Iran, Paris fell to fifth in 2006. Crude oil represents about 97 percent of French imports from Iran, while refined oil products from France are among the biggest items heading the other way. Under a deal from last year, oil giant Total is set to exploit phase 11 of South Pars to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export and to build a liquefaction plant, but the deal is held up by a dispute over prices. Iran is also important for France's auto sector. It accounts for around two thirds of French sales to the Middle East.

AFP

Subject: French news

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