Reports say Iran has launched a wider shopping campaign to purchase new planes in a yet another indication that the country is pursuinga hostile agenda to renovate its aviation fleet.
Reuters has quoted an unnamed Iranian official as saying that the country plans to purchase around 50 new planes of various types in the near future.
When asked what types of aircraft Iran could buy, the official has been quoted as saying,
“It will be similar, but on a smaller scale, to what we have bought so far”.
Reuters adds in its report that Iranian officials had attended the Farnborough Airshow in Britain over the past week and held preliminary discussions with several potential sellers including Japan’s Mitsubishi, which is developing a new regional jet.
In January, Iran signed a major contract with European aviation giant Airbus worth about $27 billion with Airbus to buy 118 planes within the next few months. The contract was signed during the visit to Paris by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
Iran also sealed a deal in June worth around $25 billion with the US aerospace heavyweight, Boeing, for the purchase of 100 passenger planes.
The deal with Boeing is still facing a possible ban by Congress in what many see as a result of the growing anti-Iran measures adopted by US lawmakers.
The deals with Boeing and Airbus came after aircraft sanctions against Tehran were lifted under a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations—the US, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany—reached in July last year.
Nevertheless, the American banks are still banned from dealing with Iran as part of an old US trade embargo that still remains in place.
Accordingly, this is believed to have already effectively blocked any transactions with Iran which is based on US dollars because they would ultimately have to be cleared in the US.
Reuters has further quoted the Iranian official as urging Western governments and manufacturers to help
“resolve their side of problem, including the financing issue”.
Many Western banks are reluctant to back the aircraft deals, fearing their money could be at risk if sanctions are restored, Reuters reported.
The unnamed Iranian official emphasized that Italian and German banks had expressed interest in taking part, while aircraft industry sources say financiers in the UAE and China could play a role.