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Toyota stops car exports to Iran

By Brian Walker, CNN
  • The company says the hold is indefinite at this point
  • Toyota's move is to put pressure on Tehran to curb its nuclear ambitions
  • The automaker exported just 222 vehicles to Iran through May of this year

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Toyota Motors said Wednesday it's halting shipments to Iran following international moves to put financial and commercial pressure on Tehran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

"It is true that Toyota has stopped exports of vehicles bound for Iran," Toyota spokesman Keisuke Kirimoto said in Tokyo.

The company says the hold on shipments of its popular Land Cruiser, and other cars and trucks is indefinite at this point.

"We plan to continue to closely monitor this sensitive international situation," Kirimoto said.

The world's largest automaker made the move in light of U.S. and United Nations sanctions slapped on Tehran in June.

The move is largely symbolic. Toyota exported just 222 vehicles to Iran through May of this year, and a similar number in all of 2009.

Toyota doesn't have any factories in Iran, and says it stopped shipping vehicles to its Iranian-owned distributor there in June. That move coincided with the United Nations Security Council decision that same month to impose more sanctions on Iran. That package included measures to restrict financial transactions and tighten an existing arms embargo.

Iran has consistently denied U.S. and other international claims that its atomic energy program is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.

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