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Iran signs Airbus deal - will Trump approve?

TOULOUSE: December 22, 2016. Iran Air has signed an order for 46 Airbus A320, 38 A330 and 16 A350 XWB aircraft with deliveries beginning in early 2017. Value of the contract was not disclosed.

"I am delighted that we have reached an agreement to go to the next decisive phase and start taking delivery of new aircraft. I am gratified that this new round of cooperation with Airbus has come to fruition and brought us closer with more practical steps to follow for Iran Air's fleet renewal," said Iran Air chairman and CEO Farhad Parvaresh.

"Iran Air considers this agreement an important step towards a stronger international presence in civil aviation. We hope this success signals to the world that the commercial goals of Iran and its counterparts are better achieved with international cooperation and collaboration," he added.

A350-900 LHFabrice Bregier, Airbus president and CEO noted: "Our overall accord includes pilot training, airport operations and air traffic management so this agreement is also a significant first step in the overall modernization of Iran's commercial aviation sector."

Airbus said the agreement remains subject to US government Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) export licenses that were granted in September and November this year.

The contract, as with the earlier announced Boeing deal, is expected to be the subject of scrutiny by the incoming Trump Administration.

U.S. president-elect Trump has criticized the multinational nuclear agreement with Iran and has said he would renegotiate it. He reportedly opposes all aspects of the deal, including its duration, sanctions relief, and inspections regime.

During a March 2016 speech he labeled Iran the "biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world" and pledged as U.S. president to dismantle its "terror network" and counter its "aggressive push to destabilize and dominate the region."

The OFAC export licenses for Airbus are required for products containing 10 percent or more U.S. technology. The manufacturer said it has coordinated with regulators in the EU, U.S. and elsewhere to ensure full compliance.

In a related move the Lufthansa Group, Airbus' largest airline customer and operator, has taken delivery of the first of 25 A350-900s it has on order (above). The airline will deploy the first aircraft on long-haul routes from Munich to Delhi and Boston.

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