South Korea’s Kia halts exports to Iran


South Korea’s Kia Motors, whose Pride model is ubiquitous on Iranian roads, said on Tuesday it had suspended exports to the Iran partly in response to Seoul’s nuclear-related sanctions.

“South Korean government sanctions… were part of the decision,” Kia spokesman Michael Choo said, declining to comment further.

Kia’s Pride, a small hatchback, accounts for 30-40 percent of all vehicles on Iran’s roads, according to the company. The firm last year exported 4,210 complete vehicles to Iran and 17,040 cars in kit form for local assembly.

Kia suspended all exports to Iran last month, including completed vehicles, kits and spare parts — before South Korea’s government announced its detailed measures but after it announced its intention to impose sanctions.

According to a survey issued Sunday, more than three-quarters of South Korea’s small and mid-size exporters have partly or totally discontinued shipments to Iran following Seoul’s sanctions.

The survey of 88 smaller exporters conducted by the Small and Medium Business Administration showed 28 percent had halted exports. Another 48 percent said they had partially suspended shipments.

The cut-off was due to fears they would be unable to receive payments for shipments.

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