The Iranian national carrier Iran Air has signed an agreement to buy 80 Boeing aircraft worth $16.6 billion, the state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday. This is the first such deal since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
According to IRNA, Iran Air's Chairman, Farhad Parvaresh, said that the 10-year deal covers 50 Boeing 737s and 30 Boeing 777s. In June, Iran Air revealed that discussions were under way with Boeing for 100 aircraft.
Boeing's regional director, Fletcher Barkdull, visited Tehran to attend the signing ceremony. Barkdull pointed out that the agreement was approved by the US government.
Since 1979, Iran Air has been using smuggled or locally-made spare parts to maintain its aircraft. This deal will help it to modernise and expand its aging fleet.
Reuters noted that the US House of Representatives passed a bill intending to block the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran. This would bar the US Treasury from issuing licences needed by American banks to finance such sales.
Congressional Republicans, added Reuters, are making efforts to counter last year's nuclear accord between Iran, the United States and other world powers, which led to the easing of sanctions against the government in Tehran.