Babylon & Beyond

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IRAN: Sporty new French hatchbacks entering market despite tough sanctions talk

February 21, 2010 |  8:07 am


French President Nicolas Sarkozy talks a tough game when it comes to imposing sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. 

But that hasn't stopped France's second-biggest automaker, PSA Peugeot Citroen, from expanding its presence in the Islamic Republic with the upcoming launch of the Peugeot 207i, an Iranian-made version of the Peugeot 207, which is set to roll out in late March. 

Peugeot 206s, assembled in Iran under a licensing deal, have proved enormously popular in Iran. 

Pierre Foret, a Peugeot representative in Iran, was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse that the launch of the 207i was part of the firm's effort to "develop its market" in the Islamic Republic.

The 207i will be priced at $15,500 to $19,000, an Iranian auto official was quoted as saying by the website of the state-owned Press TV.

Meanwhile, two large German insurance companies, Allianz and Munich Re, have announced plans to pull out of Iran, apparently succumbing to international pressure.

-- Los Angeles Times

Photo: Iran's state-owned car manufacturer Iran Khodro unveils the Peugeot 207i, a locally built version of the French automobile firm's 207 model. Credit: Atta Kenare / AFP / Getty Images