Iran Says Boeing Officials Will Visit Tehran Soon

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Tehran, Iran (AP) -- Iran said Saturday that the United States has allowed Boeing to have direct talks with Iranian airliners following reports that a Boeing delegation will visit the country, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The report quoted Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, as saying "Boeing intends to launch its talks with Iranian companies with permission from the U.S. government."

Abedzadeh said Boeing has provided an Iranian airline with, "some technical issues to upgrade flight safety." He did not elaborate.

He also said Iran has "appropriate offers" from airplane manufacturers in Brazil, Canada and Japan for both leasing and selling airplanes to Iran.

On Friday, IRNA said a delegation from Boeing will visit the country to review "possible cooperation" with Iranian airlines. It said officials from Iran's national carrier, Iran Air, and other Iranian airlines will meet the Boeing delegation.

In March Abedzadeh said Iran will likely sign an agreement to buy airplanes from Boeing. The Chicago-based airline manufacturer has denied repeatedly that it will sell airplanes on the visit, instead saying it will discuss fleet-planning options with Iranian officials.

Last summer's nuclear deal between Iran and world powers has brought an end to international economic sanctions, allowing the Islamic Republic to upgrade its aging fleet of aircraft. Iran Air has already signed agreements to buy 118 planes from the European consortium Airbus and 20 more from French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR.

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