But News From Tehran May Be News To US
Iran's beleaguered aviation
industry, featuring 13 carriers and a fleet of 120 planes with an
average age of 16 years, may see its shortage of spare parts
greatly improved with what could be a breakthrough deal, if
approved by the US Department of Treasury.
According to several overseas sources, in October the US
Commerce and State Departments approved a temporary suspension of
the US-led embargo that has hampered Iran's access to American and
Western aircraft parts.
The deal would allow the servicing and supplying of parts to
American-made engines on a limited number of Iran Air jets produced
Iranian authorities told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA)
Friday that the US had "officially agreed" to overhaul six of that
country’s Airbus A310s.
"The official procedures of overhauling six Iranian Airbus
aircrafts were finalized by US and Iran’s related officials,
and currently we are searching for a third party country to execute
the required major repairs." That country would most likely be in
Europe, according to sources in Iran.
The Fars News Agency, however, said in their report that it is a
"recommendation" under consideration by the US Department of
"The recommendation, now under consideration by the US
Department of Treasury, was made after American aviation officials
warned the engines were in need of immediate overhaul.
The airplane engine parts would not be shipped to Iran,
according to Fars. "Instead, components would be exported to
unidentified third countries, which would conduct the repairs for
The cooperation, if confirmed by the US, appears to be the first
between the two countries in the aviation sector since the Iranian
Revolution. At that time bilateral ties were cut, and Washington
placed heavy trade sanctions on Tehran.
Iranian carriers operate a number of American aircraft purchased
during the time of the former Pahlavi regime, as well as Airbus
planes with engines from American firm General Electric.
has been banned from purchasing Boeing planes, and has had
difficulty procuring European planes made with American-made
components. As a result, Iran has been forced to purchase Russian
The aircraft, equipped with US-made General Electric engines,
are currently grounded at Tehran's Mehrabad airport, according to
Iran has one of the world's worst air safety records, with
deadly crashes claiming more than 600 lives in the past five years.
The International Air Transport Association said recent crashes
were to eastern-built aircraft, that there is most likely not a
relationship to the western-built parts issue.