Chief of France’s business lobby fears mass exodus of European firms from Iran

The head of France’s business lobby in Iran said on Friday he feared a mass exodus of European firms following the US decision to impose new sanctions on Tehran. “Sadly, what we can fear is a mass withdrawal of European firms,” Matthieu Etourneau, managing director of the French Center for Business in Tehran, said at a conference at the French Institute for International Affairs. “The political pro-activeness of governments is good, but we have the feeling that it will not be enough to ensure companies keep their activities in Iran.” Etourneau said that “companies will seek exemptions and waivers, but the American stance is so intransigent on the question that we think it’s unlikely they will be granted,” Reuters reports.