Iran expects to get its first new jet within weeks under a multi-billion-dollar deal with Airbus for 100 planes, as Tehran and Western firms race to reopen trade. Ciara Lee reports.
An early Christmas present for Airbus - an order of 100 new planes... from Iran. Tehran and Western firms are racing to reopen trade almost a year after sanctions were lifted. And the first of the jets could be delivered by January. It's part of plans to buy or lease 200 planes, renewing IranAir's decaying fleet. A deal was recently finalised to buy 80 jets from Airbus's U.S. rival Boeing. But it comes against a backdrop of criticism in both Washington and Tehran of last year's international sanctions deal. Barack Obama's administration touted the deal as a way to suspend Tehran's suspected drive to develop atomic weapons. But soon to be President Donald Trump has a different view. He's threatened to pull the U.S. out of the pact. (SOUNDBITE) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "The one concern is that it is almost impossible to separate this kind of deal from political risk. I think the Iranian's and the French will probably be quite keen to get this ratified before Mr Trump takes up his post. That said, he could still drive a coach and horses through the whole lot when he gets in" The first Airbus A321 could arrive before Trump's January 20th inauguration. Iran says the deal with Airbus will be split roughly equally between narrow-body jets including the A320 and A321 and wide-body jets including the A330 and A350.