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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Iran looks to procure Airbus jets before sanctions take effect, says official

Companies engaging with Iran have a 180-day period to "wind down" their exposure

Iran Air pilot Mehdi Jafarzadeh takes a picture of the arrival of his company's new Airbus plane at Mehrabad airport, in Tehran. European governments are scrambling for ways to save billions of dollars in trade that could collapse because of US President Donald Trump's decision this week to re-impose sanctions (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Iran Air pilot Mehdi Jafarzadeh takes a picture of the arrival of his company's new Airbus plane at Mehrabad airport, in Tehran. European governments are scrambling for ways to save billions of dollars in trade that could collapse because of US President Donald Trump's decision this week to re-impose sanctions (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran is in contact with European planemaker Airbus to try to use a narrow window available for business following this week's US decision to withdraw from an international nuclear pact, said a senior official.

"We are in contact with Airbus and they are exploring all possibilities that might exist to take advantage of the limited time in front of us," said Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan, senior advisor to Iran's Roads and Urban Development Minister.

"It all depends on European government support and policies," he told Reuters by telephone.

Iran also hopes to import more Franco-Italian ATR turboprops but there are some "technical issues", he added. ATR is a joint venture between Airbus and Italian group Leonardo.

Airbus said it had no immediate comment on the matter.

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Read more:

What next for the Iran deal?

US exit from nuclear deal and renewed sanctions thwart Iran aviation ambitions

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Fakhrieh-Kashan was quoted earlier as saying Airbus would announce soon whether it would sell planes to Tehran after the United States - which must approve the export of planes with a significant number of US parts - said it would withdraw from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said earlier this week that there would be "wind-down" periods of 90 to 180 days, and perhaps other durations, for existing Iranian contracts with companies, following President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran deal.