Italian automaker Fiat SpA and its sister company Fiat Industrial SpA said on Friday it had suspended its commercial relations with Iran in a move aimed at supporting international diplomatic efforts.
“Effective immediately the subsidiaries will no longer carry out business activity related to products or components where the ultimate destination of such products is known to be Iran,” Fiat said in a statement.
The international community has been toughening sanctions on the Islamic Republic — including on its main cash cow, oil — because of fears that it plans to build nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.
Fiat exports cars to Iran while Fiat Industrial exports buses and trucks under its Iveco brand. CNH Global builds farm and construction machinery that is sold in Iran.
The announcement follows similar ones in recent months by French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen SA, which has entered an alliance with General Motors Co., South Korean automaker Hyundai and German sports carmaker Porsche.
Iran almost doubled its stockpile of 20 percent medium- enriched uranium, to 145 kilograms (320 pounds), from 73.7 kilograms in February, the IAEA said yesterday in an 11-page report.
The number of centrifuges, the fast-spinning machines that purify the heavy metal, installed at Iran’s fuel-fabrication plant in Natanz, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Tehran, rose to 9,330 compared with 9,156 in February.
The latest attempt to persuade Iran to compromise and let U.N. experts view its nuclear program ended inconclusively Thursday at a meeting in Baghdad. At the talks, six nations — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — failed to persuade Tehran to freeze its 20 percent enrichment.