Head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO), Ali Abedzadeh, has said Tehran and US aerospace giant Boeing have reached a deal for the purchase of 100 aircraft in a bid to upgrade the country’s aging fleet.
“Both sides (Iran and Boeing) have reached a written agreement for buying Boeing airplanes,” Abedzadeh said as cited by Iran Daily on Sunday.
He added that the two sides are still in talks and that final figures and terms have yet to be decided.
Iran will apply “caution in the talks” as the US has always used the Islamic Republic’s old fleet as leverage, Abedzadeh further said.
Boeing confirmed on Wednesday that it was in talks with Iranian airlines interested in buying its passenger planes.
The Iranian official went on to say that there could be no precise timeline for the contract without US Treasury approval, adding that the reported value of $17 billion for the contract was not final and that more details will be provided after further negotiations.
Fakher Daghestani, a Boeing spokesman based in Dubai, declined to answer any questions about Abedzadeh’s comments.
“Any agreements reached will be contingent on US government approval,” Daghestani said in a statement as cited by the New York Times.
Earlier, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said the deal with Boeing had been finalized, adding that its details will be announced shortly.
In January, Iran signed a major deal worth $27 billion with aviation giant Airbus to purchase 118 planes from the company. The deal with Airbus was sealed during a state visit to Paris by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
Iran has a fleet of 250 aircraft, of which 90 are grounded due to the economy or missing parts, Managing Director of Iran Air Farhad Parvaresh said recently.
Of that total, 80 percent will need to be renewed in the next decade, he said, adding that growth could add even more jets to Iran’s shopping list.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)