An official says Iran is continuing talks with Mitsubishi for purchase of passenger aircraft from the Japanese company as the country is expanding options to renovate its aging fleet.
“Several aircraft are supposed to be delivered to Iran in the near future,” Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Asghar Fakhriyeh-Kashan said on Monday.
According to media reports, Iran Aseman Airlines plans to buy 25 regional jets from Mitsubishi for its domestic routes. The Japanese company began market surveys into Iran last September, four months before US-led sanctions were lifted on Iran.
Iran has broaden its search for aircraft, approaching Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer in addition to Mitsubishi after clinching deals to buy about 200 passenger aircraft worth more than $50 billion from Airbus and Boeing.
The deals with Airbus and Boeing are awaiting clearance from the US Treasury amid opposition from American lawmakers to the sale of aircraft to Iran.
On Monday, Fakhriyeh-Kashan was quoted as saying that Iran had removed six airplanes from the list of orders for Airbus planes.
"There are six fewer aircraft. These are the ones that were due to be delivered in 2016," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the CAPA Iran Aviation Finance Summit in Tehran.
The official also stepped up criticism of what Iran sees as unfair delays in unblocking the deal, the news agency reported.
According to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “the US and the European Union are obliged to implement the passenger jet sales to Iran without any restriction,” he said.
The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) should have issued the necessary license for the sales, Fakhriyeh-Kashan said in remarks quoted by the IRNA news agency.
“The aircraft sale agreement must be implemented in the near future. Otherwise, America would be acting contrary to JCPOA,” he added.
The initial deal with Airbus was to buy 118 jets worth $27 billion at list prices. The deal to be finalized with Airbus in coming weeks could therefore be for 112 aircraft instead of 118, Fakhriyeh-Kashan said, according to Reuters.
Iran may also take one aircraft off the provisional deal with Boeing which has agreed to sell 109 jets to the Islamic Republic, he added.