23 March 2018
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  • » 03/10/2018, 17.43


    Tehran to counter Trump's sanctions by turning to Moscow to renew its fleet of passenger planes

    Iran wants to buy Sukhoi Superjet 100 from Russia. Russian minister says negotiations are well under way. The aim is to limit the consequences of the possible cancellation of deals already reached with Boeing and Airbus. The Kremlin and the Islamic Republic want to boost bilateral trade.

    Teheran (AsiaNews) – Iran is on the verge of a deal with Russia to buy one hundred Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger planes. This will allow Tehran to get around sanctions imposed by the United States and the West whilst renewing its aging unsafe fleet.

    The announcement came from Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who stressed that negotiations are well underway.

    If concluded positively, they would allow the Islamic Republic to limit the impact of any cancelled deals with US-based Boeing and EU-based Airbus.

    Last month, an SSJ-100 landed in Tehran for careful assessment by Iranian technicians. The 108-seat twin-engine is one of the candidates to renew a fleet that has had several fatal accidents in recent times due to aging planes, dubbed ‘flying coffins’, and poor maintenance, largely because of US sanctions.

    "[W]e discussed the possibility of Sukhoi Superjet 100 purchase by our Iranian partners and outlined a plan of how this can be put it into practice," Russian media quoted Novak as saying.

    At present, the two sides are looking into the practical aspects of any future partnership in the civil aviation industry.

    The minister spoke after a joint commission meeting of the two countries’ officials, stating that the two sides have also agreed on the sale of Russian-made vehicles, like KAMAZ and UAZ buses and trucks, to Iran.

    Tehran and Moscow are also working to sign free trade documents between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union countries possibly in May, a step expected to “trigger further development of our bilateral trade and expansion of investment cooperation," Novak said.

    According to the Russian minister, bilateral trade in 2017 stood at .7 billion, but “there are still unresolved issues”, such as simplifying the calculation procedures.

    In 2016, a year after the signing of the Iranian nuclear agreement (JCPOA), then US President Barack Obama lifted the ban on the sale of civilian aircrafts to Iran.

    This enabled Iran to sign billion dollar deals with US aviation giant Boeing as well as the latter’s main European competitor, Airbus, for the purchase of hundreds of aircrafts to renew part of its fleet.

    As the new US administration under Donald Trump could scrap the nuclear deal in the coming months, lifted sanctions would be re-imposed.

    Currently, the White House is currently evaluating whether to allow the sale of 80 Boeing to Iran Air, but its actions could also affect the sale of 100 passenger planes by Boeing’s main competitor, Europe’s Airbus.

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    See also

    23/02/2018 16:48:00 IRAN – UNITED STATES
    US sanctions have turned Iranian airplanes into ‘flying coffins’

    Last Sunday’s air crash that killed 65 people has raised the issue of airplane safety in Iran. Some 200 accidents have occurred in 20 years with at least 2,000 deaths. Most of the fleet should have been changed ten years ago, but sanctions have stopped purchases. And Trump is now set to block a billion-dollar agreement between Teheran and Boeing (as well as Airbus).

    22/04/2010 IRAN – UNITED STATES – CHINA
    Beijing trying to “water down” sanctions against Tehran
    China has proposed amendments to US-drafted sanctions. The mainland is Iran’s biggest trading partner, and depends on its energy supplies. The United States does not exclude the military option. Turkey offers to mediate.

    22/12/2010 INDIA – RUSSIA
    Russia and India agree to US$ 35 billion contract for 300 fighter jets
    Moscow and New Delhi plan to develop and build fifth generation fighter planes. Russian President Medvedev is in India to renew old ties. He backs India’s aspiration for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council. The two partners plan to double trade over the next five years.

    26/04/2017 11:08:00 IRAN - UNITED STATES
    Vienna, uncertainty shrouds tenability of Iranian nuclear agreement

    Iran and the main international powers met yesterday in the Austrian capital. Focus of "closed door meeting" the "respect" of the terms of the agreement. Tensions between Washington and Tehran are increasing. Iranian Minister: The United States respects neither the spirit or the terms of the agreement. 

    23/10/2014 IRAN - USA
    For the first time in 35 years Boeing sells aircraft parts to Iran
    The company said that the sale was allowed by the American government, and involves “spare parts that are for safety purposes " not new aircraft.

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