EghtesadOnline: The Franco-Italian planemaker ATR Aircraft delivered five new ATR 72-600 planes to Iran Air on Saturday and the jets landed in Tehran a day later on Sunday, which move is interpreted by Iran Air's CEO as a proof of European Union’s ability to support businesses against unruly US sanctions.
“This is a sign of the failure of the US government’s unilateral decision [to withdraw from the nuclear agreement and reimpose sanctions on Iran],” Farzaneh Sharafbafi also said during a ceremony held at Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport on Sunday.
According to Sharafbafi, the flag carrier is likely to take deliveries of three more ATR planes in the future, “the delivery process for three ATR 72-600s has already started … We will receive the planes once the company issues the required permits.”
Sunday deliveries were not limited to airplanes, according to Financial Tribune.
According to Roads Minister Abbas Akhoundi, the country has also received €5 million worth of airplane parts made by European and American firms.
Akhoundi also welcomed EU’s efforts over the airplane deliveries, calling it a positive sign regarding their commitment to the nuclear accord.
“We need to overcome the current conditions with the support of other countries, namely Russia, China, European Union, India, Turkey and other neighboring countries.”
Following US President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the 2016 nuclear deal, the US Treasury Department’s Office for Foreign Assets Control revoked licenses allowing planemakers to sell aircraft to Iranian entities.
According to Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan, senior negotiator for Iran Air’s plane orders, the French and Italian governments’ pressure on the US administration resulted in the issuance of permission for the delivery of five ATR planes on Sunday.
The move was basically aimed at preventing huge losses for ATR, though “it can also be interpreted as a sign of EU commitment to the nuclear deal”.
Fakhrieh-Kashan believes that the same policy could be employed by Airbus that had signed firm contract for delivering 100 jets to the flag carrier.
Following the new deliveries, Iran Air has received a total of 13 ATR aircraft, as part of its post-sanctions order from the Franco-Italian firm for 20+20 jets.
The flag carrier has also received three new jets from Airbus to date.
Using its new ATR fleet, Iran Air has managed to start operating flights on 25 new routes across the country.
Normal Banking Transaction
According to Fakhrieh-Kashan, Iran faced no obstacle in transferring money to ATR.
The payment was made on Friday through what the official called “a normal banking transaction.”
“We had made no payments to ATR for these five planes before Friday ... I should thank the Central Bank of Iran, Parsian Bank and Roads Ministry officials who did their best to make it possible for us to transfer the money as quickly as possible.”
The state-owned Bank of Industry and Mine has financed all the new planes delivered to the Iran Air.