Iran to continue car-making in Senegal
Iran's Minister of Industries and Mines Ali Akbar Mehrabian
Amid Senegal's move to unilaterally cut diplomatic ties with Tehran, Iran's Minister of Industries and Mines Ali Akbar Mehrabian says the country will continue its auto-making operations in Senegal.
“Iran's auto-manufacturing unit in Senegal will continue its work in accordance with a defined economic system,” IRNA quoted Mehrabian as speaking to reporters on Saturday.
“Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) will not stop its work and its operations will enter a new phase after the inauguration of the auto painting and body production lines,” he added.
The Iranian minister emphasized that the country has made investment in various countries in line with its economic objectives and expressed hope that the new IKCO unit in Senegal would promote Iran's auto-manufacturing industry in West Africa.
IKCO has production plants in Syria, Senegal, Azerbaijan, Venezuela and Belarus.
Its first national car, which is produced in most its domestic and overseas plants, was named Samand, which has Soren sedan and Sarir limo as its different makes.
On February 23, Senegal said it would sever diplomatic ties with Iran over a dispute about an "Iranian arms shipment which was discovered in Nigeria on October 2010."
In response, the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, expressing “surprise” and criticizing the move as lacking any logical reason.
“From the Islamic Republic of Iran's viewpoint, the Senegalese government's recent action has no logical reason and justification, and seems to have taken place under the influence of other factors,” it said.