Iran: Volkswagen dismisses U.S. claims it is pulling out over pressure

German carmaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) Thursday dismissed U.S. claims that it has agreed, in accordance with Washington’s trade squeeze on Tehran, to withdraw from business in Iran.

A Blomberg report, quoting U.S. envoy to Germany, Richard Grenell, indicated Thursday that the German carmaker, following a series of talks with the U.S. diplomat, allegedly agreed to pull out from Iran as U.S. sanctions weigh on the Shia-dominated country.

Grenell; a staunch aid of President Donald Trump since taking office in his host country in May has sent out a series of Tweets calling on German companies to end operations in Iran following Trump’s May decision to walk out of the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers.

Over the past few weeks, the U.S. diplomat took Siemens and BASF by surprise announcing in interviews and tweets that the companies would withdraw from Iran.

A source at Volkswagen Thursday however noted that no talks were ever held with Grenell on Iran. VW spokesman told Reuter that the German firm has not changed its plans on Iran.

The German car behemoth has been considering major investments in Iran but has not rolled out the expansion plan.

Following U.S. renewed May sanctions, European companies including several German ones announced plans to exit from the Iranian market.

Berlin, Paris and London all signatories to the nuclear accord have been battling to protect the deal in a bid to enable their firms to continue dealing with Iran. They are also looking to provide security for them against U.S. sanctions.

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