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Iran Official Says Airbus Deal Might Be In Limbo

Deputy Transport Minister of the Islamic Republic, Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan has warned that Tehran’s multi-billion-dollar deal for buying Airbus planes will be off the table if the US leaves the nuclear deal, ILNA reported on Wednesday, January 17.

When the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA was signed between Iran and world powers, sanctions on technology and financing were lifted and Iran got the chance to buy Western planes renew its aging commercial fleet.

"As long as uncertainties are not resolved, we will not provide down payments,” Fakhrieh Kashan told ILNA, adding, “We will wait to see whether US remains committed to JCPOA or not, and then, make our final decision”.

The sales chief of Airbus, John Leahy had earlier on Monday noted that Tehran would take delivery of dozens of European jets it has ordered, but warned that the transactions could take longer to complete than planned.

"Considering Mr. Trump’s stance on pulling out of JCPOA, we must make sure the licenses will remain valid--- regardless of any decision taken by the US," Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan cautioned.

The US treasury’s office of foreign assets control (Ofac) issued licenses in 2016 for Airbus to sell 100 planes to the national carrier Iran Air, which has also ordered 80 planes from Boeing. The European firm requires US export licenses because some of its parts are manufactured there, AFP reported.

"Ofac’s licenses are valid until December 2020, but these licenses have been issued under the JCPOA," said Fakhrieh Kashan. "In the most pessimistic case, if America wanted to pull out of the JCPOA, then it can be expected that the executive departments, too, will obey this decision."

Fakhrieh Kashan had earlier insisted that US decision on staying in or dropping out of the JCPOA would not have any impact on Tehran’s deal to buy Boeing and Airbus jets.

On Friday, January 12, President Donald Trump issued a statement declaring that he will renew suspension of nuclear sanctions for the last time.

While announcing that the White House is ready to cooperate in composing a bipartisan resolution, listed tough requirements for keeping JCPOA alive.

America's European allies have insisted that JCPOA must be respected and adhered to. The Trump administration is discussing ways with the allies to bring them on board and pressure Tehran.

The Islamic Republic top leaders have repeatedly insisted that Iran will not relent to any “renegotiation” of JCPOA or any attempt to revisit it.