Monday, 18 December, 2017

Iran close to striking second huge deal ‘within days’: Airbus delegates arrive in Tehran

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Airbus delegates have arrived in Tehran for talks aimed at finalizing a deal to sell around 100 planes, an Iranian official said Monday.

The representatives of the European aerospace giant arrived on Sunday just hours after national carrier Iran Air concluded a $16.6 billion deal with US firm Boeing to buy 80 planes.

 “An Airbus delegation has arrived in Tehran,” said Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, deputy minister for transport.

“We have started negotiations and if there are no problems, we will sign the agreement within a week for the purchase of around 100 planes,” he told AFP.

Iran and Boeing on Sunday reached an agreement to sell 80 aircraft to IranAir under last year’s agreement by world powers to lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.

As per the deal, the American firm will supply 50 737 MAX 8 aircraft, 15 777-300ERs and 15 777-9 to the Iranian carrier. Boeing said that deliveries will commence from 2018.

The first aircraft to reach Iran will be European, however. Airbus jets and turboprops from ATR, half-owned by Airbus, will start arriving in 2017.
Meanwhile, some conservatives in Iran reacted angrily to news of the deal with Boeing, which comes at a time when lawmakers in Washington have recently voted for renewed sanctions on the country.

Iran says the renewal of sanctions, which President Barack Obama is expected to approve in the coming days, is a breach of the nuclear deal it signed with world powers last year.

“60 trillion tomans: Iran’s gift to the US for violating the JCPOA (nuclear deal),” read Monday’s headline on the hardline Javan newspaper.

But Iran has been desperate to access new planes and parts after decades of economic isolation has left it with one of the world’s worst aviation safety records.

Both Boeing and Airbus, which manufactures some of its parts in the United States, were granted special permission from the US Treasury in September to go ahead with deals in Iran.

Photo: An Airbus A350 wide-body passenger jet made a symbolic first landing in Iran on February, nearly a month after the manufacturer signed a preliminary deal with Tehran to deliver 118 new aircraft

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