Iran says technical issues are to blame for the delay in receiving the airplanes it has purchased from global aviation giants Airbus and Boeing.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said what was previously obstructing the delivery of the planes were the related authorizations by the US Treasury Department which were issued last month.
“The delivery of the planes now depends on the finalization of negotiations between Iran Air from one side and Airbus and Boeing from another,” Araqchi told Iran’s ISNA news agency.
He emphasized that negotiations on plane purchases are complicated and comprise many technical and legal issues.
The official added that Iran Air hopes to receive the first planes it has purchased in the near future.
On 21 September, Airbus said it had obtained an initial license from the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for the early delivery of 17 A320 or A330 jets to Iran. This will be part of a deal worth above $10 billion that was signed in January for the delivery of above 100 planes to the Islamic Republic.
The announcement by Airbus was immediately followed by a similar move by Boeing which said OFAC had given the authorization for the company to proceed with a deal it had signed with Iran in June to sell 80 planes to the country. The company is also expected to lease 29 other planes to the Islamic Republic under the same deal which is estimated to be worth $25 billion.
Officials in Tehran have already announced that Iran needs to purchase between 400 and 500 commercial airliners over the next decade to rejuvenate its ageing aviation fleet.
The country’s current aviation fleet is comprised of around 140 planes with an average age of around 20 years, with many in desperate need of replacement.
By Press TV