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Iran aviation: lifting of sanctions could breathe life into the ageing fleets of Iran's airlines

The embargo on aircraft and parts exports to Iran has left the Iranian airlines saddled with not only some of the oldest fleets in the Middle East, but in the world - a contributing factor to the dreadful safety record of the country's aviation system over the past 20 years.

While Iran has attempted to kick start its own commercial aviation manufacturing industry and has also sourced aircraft from Russia and Ukraine, its efforts to acquire Western-made aircraft and replacement parts have largely been frustrated, thanks to the effects of sanctions imposed by many countries.

But as a result of Iran's agreement in Nov-2013 to suspend nuclear activities, several countries including the US and France and Germany have agreed to a temporary 6 month suspension of restrictions on sale of spare parts for aircraft and engines, in order to help improve safety levels. The window for sales began in Jan-2014. Boeing and General Electric are reportedly among manufacturers who have applied to use the opportunity to provide spare parts.

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