TEHRAN: January 25, 2016. The Iranian news agency Tasnim reports that Iran's deputy minister for Transport Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan has announced a provisional deal with Airbus to buy eight A380 aircraft for delivery in 2019. An agreement for an additional 127 aircraft, including 16 A350s, is expected to be signed this week. Iran Air managing director Farhad Parvaresh said the country plans to spend US$5 billion on aircraft purchases, according to the news agency.
The move follows the lifting of some sanctions against Iran following verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency that it has complied with an agreement to develop a non-military nuclear program.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) says sanctions on Iran’s financial, banking, energy, petrochemical, shipping, shipbuilding, and automotive sectors have been removed.
Additional restrictions on Iran’s port operators; the provision of insurance, re-insurance and underwriting services; Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals; trade with Iran in graphite, raw or semi-finished metals such as aluminum and steel, coal, and certain software; and the provision of associated services for each of the categories have also been lifted.
In making the announcement, U.S. secretary of State John Kerry (pictured left disembarking in Vienna last week) said the U.S. government will also allow the export, re-export, sale, lease or transfer of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran for exclusively civil, commercial passenger aviation end-use; license wholly-owned foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies “to engage in activities that are consistent” with the sanction agreement; and license the import of Iranian-origin carpets and foodstuffs, including pistachios and caviar.
However with the exception of these three categories, U.S. companies and its citizens “continue to be broadly prohibited from engaging in transactions or dealings with Iran and the government of Iran unless such activities are exempt from regulation or authorized by OFAC”.
According to the OFAC statement, sanctions will continue to be applied against Iran in relation to its “support for terrorism, support for persons involved in human rights abuses in Syria or for the government of Syria, support for persons threatening the peace, security, or stability of Yemen, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program”.