Sanctions, what sanctions? Iran has launched Peugeot 301 production at the Iran Khodro (IKCO) plant in Tehran.

Sorena Sattari, the country’s vice president for science and technology, attended the event, reported, citing the Trend News Agency.

He said 60% of the 301’s parts would be provided by Iranian suppliers and this could be increased to 80% later.

About 300 local companies are making components for the car.

The sedan “fully complies with international standards”.

Sattari said ICKO was producing the 301 while Peugeot itself had left Iran as a result of US sanctions.

It had been assumed French companies would provide all parts and equipment necessary for production.

“After the French giant Peugeot left Iran, this project was transferred to domestic manufacturers,” Sattari said.

He said production required 2,123 parts and Iranian suppliers make 565.

Sales will start by the end of 2019.

The first 301s were built at PSA’s Vigo plant in Spain, alongside the Citroen C-Elysee variant, and it has been made in China since November 2013 and assembled in Nigeria since 2014.

Iranian industry minister Reza Rahmani said recently that, despite US efforts to cripple Tehran’s economy, year on year comparison showed Iran’s domestic production had increased in the first quarter of the current Iranian year (21 March-21 June).

“US sanctions were imposed to hamper production in Iran, however, we are proud to announce that, after 14 months of sanctions, the area has grown 1% in the first three months of the present Iranian year in comparison with the corresponding period last year,” Rahmani was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.

“We did not let production decrease and that is a victory despite the difficulties we have had under sanctions,” he added.

The minister said the government wants to increase exports under the current conditions and called for investors to help.

PSA said on Monday its sales slumped in the first half of the year as it pulled out of Iran and sales in China plunged by nearly two-thirds.

Half of the overall 12.8% drop in sales to 1.9 million vehicles was due to halting operations in Iran to avoid falling foul of US sanctions.

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