According to Press TV, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Sputnik news agency that the two countries had been negotiating over purchasing 100 Sukhoi Superjets for the past 18 months.
However, Novak added, they were only able to reach a deal regarding 12 aircraft at the moment.
“We are working out with our Iranian partners supply of our Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. Our colleagues have confirmed that there is a concrete agreement for 12 planes already,” Sputnik quoted the Russian minister as saying.
“In the short term, we are considering 30 aircraft. This is just the beginning, because overall, the Iranians are interested in purchasing 100 Sukhoi Superjet aircraft.”
Russia’s media reported last December that the country’s aviation giant Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company has signed a basic agreement with Iran to sell its Superjet 100 planes to the country.
Interfax news agency announced in a report that the agreement – which it said had been signed with an unnamed Iranian company – enabled both sides to study the projected sales.
The news agency quoted an anonymous Russia aviation official as confirming the development. The official added, however, that the agreement was still not binding.
Hossein Alaei, the head of Iran’s Aseman Airlines, had earlier said that his company was negotiating with Sukhoi as well as several other leading global plane makers to renovate its fleet.
Alaei added that Sukhoi had carried out trial flights of its Superjet 100 in Tehran in 2016 – what he said had been carried out at the invitation of Aseman Airlines.
Meanwhile, Maqsoud As’adi Samani, the secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines, was quoted by the domestic media as saying in February that Sukhoi was moving closer to a deal to sell its Superjet 100 aircraft to the country.
As’adi Samani added that Sukhoi had already started technical talks to obtain a license from the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to sell the planes to Iran.