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Boeing Reportedly Moves Closer To Delivering First Passenger Jets To Iran Air

Iran's official IRNA news agency says U.S. plane-maker Boeing will deliver two 777 passenger jets to Iran within the next month, one of the first major U.S. business deliveries with Iran after years of Western sanctions.

IRNA on April 9 cited an informed source as saying the jets will be delivered to national carrier Iran Air.

The 777 is a twin-engine, wide-body craft capable of flying a distance of up to 15,800 kilometers.

No price was given, but a Boeing 777 usually carries a price tag of $258 million to $315 million.

IRNA said the two jets were initially part of an order placed by Turkish Airways, but the ordered was canceled and the planes were sold to Iran instead.

Boeing announced last year that Iran Air had orders for 80 Boeing aircraft -- 50 narrow-bodied 737s and 30 long-range 777s -- in a deal worth more than $16 billion.

However, the Iranian government subsequently said it will only pay half of the announced price because of reduced purchasing options offered by Boeing.

Boeing did not comment on the price. It had said the value of the deal was based on list prices, though customers typically negotiate discounts for large orders.

Boeing's deal was made possible by the nuclear accord Iran negotiated with world powers, enabling them to lift sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear activities.

After the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, some industry officials expressed concerns that the administration's tough stand against Iran could endanger the deal and perhaps hand more business to Boeing rival Airbus.

Trump has threatened to renegotiate the nuclear deal with Iran, a move U.S. allies have opposed.

In a separate deal announced on April 4, Iran's Aseman Airlines � the country's third-largest carrier � said it will buy 30 737 MAX airliners with an option to purchase 30 more for a deal worth about $3 billion. Boeing said the first delivery would come in 2022.

Most of Iran's aging fleet of 250 commercial planes was purchased before the 1979 revolution, and only about 162 are still in operating condition. Iran says it intends to buy 400 new planes over the next decade.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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