French Shipping Giant With Services Linking Iran and East Asia is Set to Withdraw

CNS News | 7/11/2018 | Staff
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Paris ( – In another major blow to the regime in Tehran, the world’s third biggest container line has signaled it is leaving Iran to avoid falling foul of sanctions being reimposed by the Trump administration after its withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Rodolphe Saadé, CEO of the French shipping giant CMA CGM, announced the decision during a weekend economic conference in south-east France.

Trump - Administration - Serving - Iran - Saadé

“Because of the Trump administration, we have decided to stop serving Iran,” said Saadé, whose company was among the first major businesses to return to the Iran market after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) came into effect in early 2016.

That year CMA CGM signed a protocol with Iran Shipping Lines to exchange or lease spaces for vessels, operate joint shipping lines, and cooperate on the use of port terminals.

Company - Services - Iran - Ports - China

The French company has three direct services, linking Iran with ports in China, Taiwan and South Korea.

CMA CGM is not the only European shipping company stopping business with Tehran. Danish AP-Holler Maersk, the world’s fourth-largest, has also announced its withdrawal.

Reinstatement - US - Sanctions - Projects - Iran

The reinstatement of U.S. sanctions threatens numerous French projects in Iran. The first tranche, targeting the automobile and civil aviation sectors, are set to be restored on August 6, followed by those relating to the energy and financial sectors on November 4.

French automaker PSA Group, which manufactures Peugeot vehicles, announced last month that it was preparing its withdrawal from Iran.

Company - Month - Contact - Authorities - Waiver

The company had said the previous month that it was in contact with the American authorities hoping to get a waiver to enable it to continue its activity in Iran, and that it had the support of the French government.

The planned pullout comes after the company’s sales in Iran skyrocketed in 2017, with 500,000 vehicles sold there.

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