Iranian minister laments lack of funds for aircraft purchase
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 5
By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
Iran's aircraft fleet is the oldest in the world, according to Abbas Akhoundi, Iranian minister of roads and urban development.
The news website "news.mrud.ir," run by the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, quoted Akhoundi as saying on Nov. 5 that Iran needed to purchase 500 aircraft within a budget of US$50 billion to renew its fleet.
"However, Iran doesn't have such financial resources," he explained.
Akhoundi further said all necessary conditions for making investments in Iran's transportation sector were in place, adding that the Islamic republic stood ready to consider all proposals.
The minister noted that Iran was willing to cooperate in the transportation sector, especially in the establishment of joint aviation industry ventures between domestic and foreign companies.
"Due to the lack of necessary funds, we are ready to lease planes instead," noted Akhoundi.
"We have had talks on this issue with the countries that produce aircraft," he added. "We hope to achieve our target by 2016."
Akhoundi also pointed out that large cargo ships had docked in Iran's ports in recent months.
"Previously, large cargo ships used to sail to other countries in the Persian Gulf, and Iranian ships would carry in cargo from those countries," he explained.
"However, 16 cargo liners have docked in Iranian ports so far, and as a result, Iran's expenditures have fallen," remarked Akhoundi.
He added that at least 50 percent of the cargo carried by ships and liners seeking a licence to dock at Iranian ports must be Iranian products.