President Hassan Rohani has called for foreign partnerships to boost Iran’s car industry, and said the sector must be privatized to improve its competitiveness.
Rohani made the comments at an international carmakers' conference in Tehran on March 1, after international sanctions against Iran were lifted in January in connection with a July nuclear deal with world powers.
Partnerships with prominent world carmakers will allow the sector to "reach to the optimum point in technology, protecting the environment, saving energy and safety," Rohani said.
The market should be "completely privatized and competitive," he added.
But Rohani warned that plan would mean removing protections for the domestic car market, saying that "government support cannot be everlasting."
The Iranian state currently controls about half of the car sector.
Last month, France's PSA Peugeot Citroen signed a joint venture agreement with automaker Iran Khodro to make 200,000 cars a year.