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Iran's SAIPA signs $497 million car deal with Russia, Belarus

Iranian carmaker SAIPA will export vehicles to Belarus and Russia following a similar agreement with Venezuela.
Iranian employees of Saipa auto plant assemble a Tiba (Gazelle) car in the central city of Kashan on May 9, 2010. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the largest automobile factory in the Middle East with a capacity of producing 150,000 cars a year, creating 4,000 jobs directly and 20,000 indirectly in the region. The Saipa factory will produce a new small car called Tiba costing between 80 and 90 million Rials (8,000 to 9,000 USD) for lower-middle class population. AFP PHOTO/ISNA/ALIREZA SOTA

A major Iranian automobile manufacturer announced on Wednesday an agreement to send vehicles to Russia and Belarus. The deal follows Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s visit to Iran in March and further demonstrates strong relations between Russia and Iran.

SAIPA, the second-largest carmaker in Iran after Iran Khodro, said it will send 45,000 vehicles to Russia and Belarus within three years. The contract is worth 450 million euros ($497 million). SAIPA will specifically send the following three vehicles to Russia and Belarus, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

  • Shahin — a sedan
  • Quik — a “small family car”
  • Saina — a subcompact sedan

Why it matters: Iran and Russia have had strong relations for years. Most recently, Iran has supplied Russia with drones for use in the invasion of Ukraine. In March, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian visited Moscow to discuss military cooperation between the two countries.

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