European plane makers to have "tough days" ahead: Iran official (Exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, July 24
By Kamyar Eghbalnejad, A. Shirazi - Trend:
Maqsood Samani, the chairman of the Association of Iranian Airlines, said the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed restrictions on European plane makers, adding that plane makers will have “tough days” ahead.
“With the restrictions imposed by the OFAC on European aircraft companies, it would not be an easy task for them to deliver planes to Iran,” Samani told Trend on July 24.
“They will have a tough time ahead and need to talk OFAC into allowing them [to maintain their contracts]”.
Referring to recent remarks by Iran's Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan that Tehran is seeking to put its contacts with global aviation giants Airbus, Boeing and ATR on hold, Samani said efforts are aimed at suspending the deals to address the problem.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he said the government would make all-out efforts to upgrade the country’s ageing fleet and offer suitable services to people.
He added that this is not the first time that Washington is seeking to impose sanctions on Tehran, expressing the hope that Iran could pass through tough days one more time.
Iran Air and the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR spent months negotiating an order for 20 ATR 72-600 aircraft worth $576 million at list prices, with options for another 20.
During a January 2016 visit to Paris by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran signed a major contract with Airbus worth about $27 billion to buy 118 planes.
Later in June 2016, Iran sealed another deal worth around $25 billion with the US aerospace heavyweight, Boeing, for the purchase of 100 passenger planes.
In December 2016, the deal with Boeing was finalized, allowing Iran to buy 80 planes within 10 years.
Iran has so far imported only about 11 aircraft, three from Airbus and eight from ATR.
In a speech from the White House on May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, UK, France and Germany).