Sukhoi to supply SuperJets to Iran despite sanctions

Press TV – Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft says its plans to sell planes to Iran will not change despite the US re-imposing sanctions against the country.

The company announced that it would continue to cooperate with Iranian airlines within the framework of interim agreements on the delivery of SuperJet 100 (SSJ100) passenger planes.

Russia’s Sputnik news agency quoted Alexander Rubtsov, the president of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, as saying that the planes that are to be delivered to Iran would be built without US-made components to avoid contract obstacles posed by the upcoming US sanctions.

“The Sukhoi Civil Aircraft will continue to work with Iranian airlines under the preliminary agreements signed at the Eurasia Air Show in April 2018. According to the agreements, the parties are studying in detail the possibility of supplying an updated version of SuperJets — the SSJ100R, which is implemented under the program of import substitution of the SSJ100 components,” the company announced in a statement.

The Russian company recently signed memorandums of understanding on the delivery of 40 Sukhoi SSJ100R passenger planes to two Iranian airlines until 2022.
Iran’s IRNA news agency announced in late April that Aseman Airlines and Iran Air Tours had signed contracts with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft for the purchase of a total of 40 SSJ100 planes. It added that the planes purchased by Aseman Airlines belonged to RRJ-95R class of Sukhoi’s latest model of SuperJets.

IRNA also quoted an Iran Air Tours official as saying that the total value of the company’s purchases of Sukhoi planes stood at $1 billion, adding that deliveries would begin the next year.

US President Donald Trump last Tuesday said he would pull the US out of a nuclear agreement with Iran that had allowed the removal of certain sanctions against the country.

The deal – that the US signed with Iran in 2015 together with Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – also envisaged moves by the Islamic Republic to restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy program.

Trump also signed a presidential memo to reinstate the nuclear-related sanctions that would include restrictions on the sales of planes and parts to the Iran.

This has put the fate of the country’s deals with aviation giants Airbus and Boeing into uncertainty.

In December 2016, Airbus signed a deal to sell Iran 100 jetliners worth about $19 billion at list prices. It has delivered three planes so far.

In the same month, Boeing announced a contract with Iran for 80 aircraft valued at $16.6 billion. The company separately struck a deal with Iran’s Aseman Airlines to sell 737 MAX aircraft for $3 billion, with purchase rights for another 30 planes. No deliveries have been made yet.

Both could suffer a combined loss of above $39 billion once Trump’s anti-Iran sanctions regime is put into effect.