Moscow won't abandon aircraft sales talks with Tehran - Russian aviation source

An Ilyushin Il-76 Candid strategic airlifter. © Vladimir Pesnya
Negotiations with Iran over the purchase of Russian aircraft will continue despite Tehran’s plans to buy European planes. The Islamic Republic is interested in Russian-made airliners and helicopters, according to an unnamed source in Russian aviation.

“Iran’s reported purchase of 100 or 114 passenger planes from Europe’s Airbus doesn’t mean the country is abandoning talks on sales of Russian aircraft,” the source told online daily Lenta.ru. 

Moscow and Tehran are in talks to supply Russian helicopters, SSJ-100 passenger airplanes, military and civilian versions of the Il-76 transport aircraft and the medium-range Tu-204 and Irkut MC-21 airliners.

According to the source, Iran has also shown interest in upgrading its Soviet-era aircraft as well as producing the new planes with the help of Russia.

Russian aircraft manufactures may get 15 to 20 percent of Iran’s market, according to analysts.

Russia will also face competition from American manufactures after US President Barack Obama lifted the ban on the export of civilian passenger aircraft to Iran on Saturday.