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    Iran to Buy 114 Passenger Jets, Renew Fleet After Sanctions Relief

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    Iran has agreed to purchase 114 airliners from Airbus in an effort to upgrade its civil aviation fleet, Iran's Transportation Minister Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi said Saturday.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, on what is expected to be implementation day, the day the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifies that Iran has met all conditions under the nuclear deal.
    © AP Photo / Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo
    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Iran has reached an agreement with the French Airbus Group SE on procuring some 114 planes for its Iran Air national carrier company, Akhoundi told Iran's Tasnim news agency.

    The announcement came a day after US President Barack Obama lifted a decades-old ban on selling aircraft and repair parts to Iran's aviation companies. The ban has caused Iran's aviation to deteriorate, causing almost 20 air crashes within the last decade.

    Iran has engaged with various aircraft producers over recent months in a bid to renew its fleet, the minister added, stating that companies other than Iran Air will now have to begin upgrading their fleets.

    Early November, Akhoundi announced that Iran would require 500 new commercial jets costing some $50 billion, reports said. Iran may need to use the leaseback to finance the purchase, he said.

    The development comes ahead of the expected lifting of anti-Iran international sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is anticipated to report Saturday on Iran's compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to the JCPOA, all UN Security Council, as well as parts of US and EU sanctions are set to be lifted on the implementation day.

    The lifting of anti-Iran sanctions became possible after Iran reached a deal on its nuclear program with the P5+1 group of international mediators on July 14, 2015. The deal entailed Iran agreeing to ensure the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

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