"My personal experience is a very fast process for setting up joint ventures" - FIEV VP, operating officer, Arnaud de David-Beauregard on Iran

"My personal experience is a very fast process for setting up joint ventures" - FIEV VP, operating officer, Arnaud de David-Beauregard on Iran

French automotive suppliers association, FIEV, says the recent warming of relations between Iran and the West has allowed its members to "reconnect" with the country.

Paris has long had business connections with Tehran in many industries and has maintained contact with what many view as the renegade State with an eye on Iran coming in from the cold.

Breakthrough talks in Geneva have aided that process with some dilution of some of the crippling sanctions regime, which recently-elected Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, described last week as: "A big cruelty to our people."

Towards the end of last year, Tehran hosted the Iran Auto Industry International Conference, featuring 170 delegates from 20 countries, among whom was FIEV, whose vice president, operating officer,  Arnaud de David-Beauregard, took 16 French companies.

"I think it [visit] was an opportunity for our suppliers to reconnect with Iran and [with] Iranian players," David-Beauregard told just-auto. "But for sure, at that stage, we could not develop any specific project, it is complicated with the current international context. Nothing specific, just contact.

"Frankly speaking, it can go slowly, slowly, or it can go very fast in Iran. My personal experience is a very fast process for setting up joint ventures [for example]. I did it the fastest I have ever done in my career.

"So it can go fast, but at the same time the international context is not that clear for the time being. We are expecting clarification, but for the time being, once again, the issue remains a bit confused."

Tough sanctions were put on Iran following what some in the West considered Tehran's attempts to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

However, a partial thaw seems to be taking place with nuclear talks led by the  so-called P5+1 group, the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China as well as the European Union and Iran.