A member of Iranian parliament’s industry and mining commission said on Monday that billion-touman loans have been provided for two domestic car manufacturers to avoid unemployment for hundreds of thousands of workers.
Nader Ghazipour told Mehr News Agency: “The two 500-billion toumans loans to two big car manufacturers, Iran Khodro and Saipa, were designed to avoid unemployment of workers of auto parts manufacturing plants.
He went on to give an estimate of “about two million” jobs being on the line. He added that if the auto parts manufacturing sector closes down, then car manufacturing will soon follow suit.
Websites linked to workers and labour organizations have reported that hundreds of auto workers have already been laid off in various parts of the country.
Another spokesman for the parliament’s industry and mining commission told Mehr that auto parts manufacturers have not been able to collect their dues from car manufacturing companies in the past 8 months and the loans were designed to remedy this situation.
Aziz Akabarian went on to confirm that the two auto makers have been experiencing a decline in their sales and had to lay off some of their workers.
Iran’s Automakers Association has announced a 36 percent decline in car sales compared to last year.
According to AFP the main reason for the fall in car sales is that the French companies Peugeot and Citroen have stopped exporting auto parts to Iran due to EU sanctions.
Hyundai and Fiat have also ended their dealings with Iran with the intensification of US and EU sanctions as a result of nuclear disputes with Iran.