Iran reaches agreement to purchase 100 Boeing jets

TEHRAN, June 19 (UPI) — The Iranian government has reached a deal with U.S.-based Boeing Co. to purchase 100 aircrafts as part of an upgrade to country’s aging fleet of planes.

Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization made the announcement, Tasmen News reported.

“Both sides (Iran and Boeing) have reached a written agreement for buying Boeing airplanes,” Abedzadeh said, according to the Iran Daily on Sunday.

He said the two sides are still in talks and final figures and terms have yet to be decided. Boeing confirmed on Wednesday it was in talks with Iran for the purchase of passenger planes.

Abedzadeh said Iran will use “caution in the talks” because the U.S. has always used the Islamic Republic’s old fleet as leverage.

He said there could be no precise timeline for the contract without U.S.Treasury approval. The planes are valued at an estimated $17 billion, but a final sale price has not yet been determined.

The deal is one of three agreements made between Iran and western aircraft manufacturers for around 200 aircraft since Washington lifted economic sanctions on the country in January, Voice of America reported.

“We have 250 planes in the country, 230 need to be replaced,” Abedzadeh said.

While most of the Middle Eastern nation’s civil aviation fleet is in poor shape and in desperate need of replacement, but Boeing is still waiting on final authorization from the U.S. Treasury, Abedzadeh said.

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