Iranian deputy minister rejects reports on purchase of new airplanes in cash

Tasnim – Iran’s Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan rejected a recent report that Iran Air has purchased Airbus jets in cash, saying new aircraft are bought in installments.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Fakhrieh Kashan dismissed a report by Reuters on May 4, which said Iran Air has taken delivery of just three Airbus jets, for which it paid cash.

“The delivered aircraft are paid for through installments,” the Iranian deputy minister said.

He further emphasized that, as previously announced, only a prepayment has been made to the manufacturer company, Airbus, based on the contract signed between the two sides.

During a January 2016 visit to Paris by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran signed a major contract with Airbus worth about $27 billion to buy 118 planes.

Iran and Airbus intensified business negotiations in October 2016 following the US decision to remove a final hurdle for Western aircraft manufacturers to sell planes to Iran under contracts signed after coming into force of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany).

While Western plane makers are very keen on trade with Iran, Washington still demands that even non-American manufacturers wishing to sell to Iran obtain an export license if their products include materials made in the United States. Airbus, based in Europe, buys more than 40 percent of all its aircraft parts from the US.

Iran sealed another deal in June worth around $25 billion with the US aerospace heavyweight, Boeing, for the purchase of 100 passenger planes.

In December, the deal with Boeing was finalized, allowing Iran to buy 80 planes within 10 years. The first deliveries are expected in 2018.