IranAir Hopes to Finalize 17-Plane Airbus Deal in Two Weeks

Iran Air passenger planes sit on the tarmac of the domestic Mehrabad airport in the Iranian capital Tehran on January 15, 2013. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

BEIRUT (Reuters) – European planemaker Airbus and IranAir will finalize a deal to buy aircraft in two weeks, the head of Iran’s flag carrier said on Tuesday, adding Airbus has agreed to arrange financing for the first 17 planes.

Uncertainty over financing of the deal and political opposition in the United States against Iran have slowed down Tehran’s efforts to import aircraft following the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions this year.

Iran signed a $16.6 billion deal for 80 Boeing passenger jets on Sunday and was said to be close to a deal with Airbus, in the biggest package of firm contracts with Western companies since Iran’s 1979 revolution.

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