Renault seeks financial partner to resume Iran activities

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) -- Renault is looking for a financial partner to help it resume activities in Iran. The automaker is in talks with the U.S. and French governments on the issue, Chief Performance Officer Jerome Stoll said.

Renault is keen to resume Iranian vehicle assembly and sales with local partners Iran Khodro and Pars Khodro as it aims to rebuild the significant market position it enjoyed before international sanctions on Tehran were introduced in 2011.

"What we are looking for is a financial partner, who will on their own as well comply with all the international regulations and which enable us to resume our activities in Iran," Stoll said in an interview on Wednesday.

"We are just trying to explain our position to the American administration and French administration as well. To explain what we want to do, how we want to proceed and how we want to make this business," he said.

He added that the company had been approached by Turkish banks and international banks.

Renault said in January it had resumed shipments to Iran and expected its car production in the country to pick up progressively throughout the first half of 2014.

At the time the company said a temporary easing of sanctions had begun to allow a "very low" volume of parts shipments for vehicle assembly in Iran.

The automaker sells the Tondar model, a local version of Renault's low-cost Dacia Logan, which is assembled in Iran from kits.

In January, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said that Iran's auto market is poised to grow by at least 50 percent when sanctions against the country are lifted totally. Talking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ghosn said that the current market of 700,000 to 800,000 car sales a year could jump to "anywhere between 1 million to 1.5 million cars."

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