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Citroën launches Iran car production despite Trump sanctions

media PSA Peugeot Citroen's factory in Mulhouse, eastern France SÉBASTIEN BOZON/AFP

French carmaker PSA Group launched its Citroën C3 model in Iran last week despite US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the nuclear agreement with Tehran, brand chief Linda Jackson said on Thursday.

PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroën cars, sold 2,000 C3 subcompacts in one hour on launch day, Jackson said at a presentation of another model, the C5 Aircross, just outside Paris.

The group’s strategy in Iran had not changed in the wake Trump's decision, she said, but added that PSA remains “cautious” about the future of its Iran business.

US sanctions against Iran are due to take effect on 6 August and would also apply to companies trading with the Islamic Republic.

Jackson said the company is waiting for the European Union to take a clear position on the sanctions and trade prospects.

PSA was one of the first foreign companies to return to Iran after sanctions were lifted under the deal in 2016.

The Iranian market could one day become larger than the French one and the country could be a key base for exports to the Middle East and Africa.

Citroën has a target of 1.6 million sales by 2020, based on expanding markets outside Europe, which it hopes will account for 45 percent of its sales by then, compared to 26 percent today.

The company has sold 40,000 C5 Aircrosses in China since its launch there last September and intends to sell it in France and the rest of the Europe as from the end of this year.

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