TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — European airplane manufacturer ATR said Thursday it signed a $536-million deal with Iran Air for at least 20 aircraft, the latest aviation firm to strike a deal following Iran's nuclear deal with world powers.
ATR spokesman David Vargas confirmed the deal for the 20 ATR 72-600s, a twin-propeller aircraft, and said Iran Air had an option to purchase another 20.
"They will definitely help Iran Air to modernize and develop regional connectivity across the country," Vargas told The Associated Press.
Vargas declined to offer a value for the overall deal. The confirmed portion of the deal is worth $536 million at list prices, though buyers typically negotiate discounts on bulk orders.
Farhad Parvaresh, the CEO of Iran Air, told the state-run IRNA news agency that the French-Italian company will deliver nine ATR 72-600s in 2017 and the rest in 2018. He said four of the aircraft will arrive within a month after signing the contract.
The ATR deal comes on the back of the nuclear agreement Iran struck with world powers, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
That deal allowed airplane manufacturers to rush into the Iranian market.
Boeing Co. has already made a $16.6 billion sale already to Iran Air, while its European rival Airbus signed one estimated to be worth some 22.8 billion euros ($25 billion). Chicago-based Boeing also signed a $3 billion deal earlier this month to sell 30 737 MAX aircraft to Iran's Aseman Airlines, a firm owned by Iran's civil service pension foundation.
U.S. politicians have expressed concern about the airplane sales to Iran and President Donald Trump remains skeptical of the atomic accord overall.
Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writer Adam Schreck in Dubai contributed to this report.