By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Iranian officials say Tehran plans to buy 114 aircraft from European airplane manufacturer Airbus as soon as March and is looking for other deals.
The Islamic republic is emerging from international isolation after the easing of sanctions on January 16 under a deal between Tehran and global powers to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran could need as many as 500 new planes over the next three years, Mahdi Hashemi, chairman of the parliament’s Development Commission, said at Tehran’s first major postsanctions gathering of global businessmen.
Transport Minister Abbas Akhoondi told journalists on January 24 that Tehran would discuss details with Airbus next week and was also interested in negotiating with the U.S. manufacturer Boeing for aircraft.
Tehran has long said it will need to revamp an aging fleet, hit by a shortage of parts because of trade bans imposed by Washington and other Western powers.
Hashemi said Iran could place an order in the next two months, confirming plans announced earlier this month.