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Iran Says Talks Under Way With Airbus On Purchase Of Helicopters

Iran says it is in talks with the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus about the possible purchase of 48 helicopters for civilian use.

Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan told Iran's Financial Tribune newspaper on August 12 that Tehran plans to order 45 emergency medical helicopters.

Fakhrieh-Kashan said Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization also plans to purchase three search-and-rescue helicopters.

He said the negotiations with Airbus were being conducted by Iran's Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

Iran has been buying up Western aircraft that were forbidden for years under international sanctions.

Those sanctions were lifted as part of a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers that went into effect in January 2016. In exchange, Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear activities.

Since the nuclear deal came into effect, Iran has ordered more than 200 planes from foreign manufacturers -- 100 from Airbus, 80 from U.S. manufacturer Boeing, and 20 from ATR turboprops.

The implementation of those deals has been hampered by uncertainties over financing.

Airbus said in June that Iranian airlines had committed to buying an additional 73 planes.

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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