EU able to resist US pressure if it wants: Iran Air CEO

IRNA – Head of Iran’s flagcarrier airline said the procedure is underway to receive three remaining ATR passenger aircrafts on order, adding that the European Union can resist US pressure if it intends to.

‘Despite the fact that the 90-day deadline set by the US Department of Treasury for European and American companies to cut their relations with Iran will expire on Monday (Aug 6), …we managed to secure the delivery of the rest ATRs ordered by Iran through negotiations with French and Italian officials,’ Director General of Iran Air Farzaneh Sharafbafi said on Sunday in a ceremony held for receiving five aircrafts from the European manufacturer.

Delivering the ATR aircrafts to Iran despit US measures, the European Union proved that it can support European and Iranian investors if it wills, she said.

Earlier in the day, five new European ATR passenger aircrafts landed in Tehran’s Mehrabad airport amid the US official rhetoric on strict measures against Iran.

With the five aircrafts joining the Iranian flag carrier airline, Iran Air, the number of the ATR 72-600 planes delivered to Iran reached 13.

Iran signed a deal to buy twenty ATR aircrafts in 2016 when the economic sanctions were lifted as a result of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal. However, following the US withdrawal from the deal in May and re-imposing sanctions on Iran, it was speculated that the manufacturer would not be able to deliver the rest of Iran’s ATR on order.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on July 31 that his country is after getting green light from US to supply aircraft to Iran.

He said Europe needed to react quickly and protect its economic sovereignty.

‘Europe must provide itself with the tools it needs to defend itself against extra-territorial sanctions,’ Mr Le Maire stressed.

The ATR 72-600, being introduced to the world fleets in 2010, is manufactured using the latest technologies of aerospace industry.

The model, a turboprop and efficient in terms of fuel consumption, catering and maintenance, is capable of flying 528 kilometers with 70 passengers onboard.

Established in November 1981, ATR is a joint partnership between two major European aeronautics players, Airbus and Leonardo, according to the world leading turboprop manufacturer’s website.

The model bought by Iran can fly in every weather condition by dint of advanced technologies installed in the cockpit.