The Persian-language Alef website, an Iranian media outlet belonging to influential and conservative politician Ahmad Tavakkoli, has published an article on Iran-France trade relations. The highlights of the piece written by Ali-Asghar Khodarahmi follow.
France has, for long, been one of Iran’s trade partners and traditionally possessed part of Iran’s market, and unfortunately still does. However, France in line with sanctions policies, reduced or stopped its exports, even exports of auto parts, to Iran when the Islamic Republic was under sanctions.
During the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group over Tehran’s nuclear program, France played the role of the bad cop. Nevertheless, after the conclusion of the agreement, France, unfortunately, very easily once again secured the market in Iran and, to some extent, in the region through our country. And even worse, a large part of Iran’s consumer goods were made available to France in contravention of the policies stipulated in the Economy of Resistance initiative.
With the Macron administration coming to power, Paris has regarded Tehran’s policies as a destabilizing force in the region and is seeking a deal on Iran’s missile activities similar to the nuclear agreement. Unlike Britain, Germany, Italy, China and Russia, and without paying attention to the policies of these countries, France is pursuing its autocratic policies such as the time that Iran nuclear negotiations were underway.
If in our country, we regarded economy and foreign policy as interdependent, we would not allow France to control our 80-million-strong market as well as the region’s market which comprises 400 million people. At least, if Iran was to make its market available to France, it had better arranged for capital goods to enter the country, not consumer goods such as vinegar, chocolate, cosmetics, soap, food for pets, combs, bathtubs and showers, which are all produced inside Iran.
Now the question is whether or not the Iranian government wants to boost local industries with such policies! Can we accept that those who issue permits for importing such commodities have made the decision in line with national interests?
Finally, the government should allow manpower (that are NOT retired) to assume managerial posts, at least in medium-level positions, to destroy bases which are full of traditionalist idols and, instead, delineate a new path for the country’s commerce in keeping with the tangible realities associated with the society’s potential.