Iran wants 400 new planes by 2025 if curbs end

Updated 15 May 2014
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Iran wants 400 new planes by 2025 if curbs end

TEHRAN: Iran is looking to buy 400 passenger planes in the next 10 years to upgrade its aging fleet if Western sanctions imposed over its controversial nuclear program are lifted, the country’s top aviation official said Wednesday.
The remark by Ali Reza Jahangirian of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization reflects Tehran’s interest in attracting foreign investment and upgrading its creaking aviation industry.
It comes amid a new climate in the country following the election last June of new President Hassan Rowhani who has focused his efforts on reviving Iran’s faltering economy.
“Iranian airlines will be ready to buy 40 jets a year,” Jahangirian said, without disclosing specifics of what could be a multibillion dollar project.
Jahangirian also said Iran has received “very positive signals” from Western companies, including Boeing Co. and General Electric Co. about getting new spare parts. Both Boeing and GE have said the US Treasury Department has given them licenses to export to Iran.
The licenses for spare parts were made possible under a temporary nuclear deal struck last November between Iran and six world powers. Under it, Tehran is to halt some aspects of its nuclear program in return for the lifting of some sanctions — including restrictions on sale of commercial plane parts and services to Iran.
Such a sale to Iran would be the first publicly known dealing between US airspace companies and Tehran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the pro-US Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought clerics to power.
Jahangirian said that out of Iran’s 250 commercial planes, about 150 are flying while the rest are grounded due to lack of spare parts.
Jahangirian also said that Iran has taken some “technical” steps in preparing for a resumption of direct flights with the United States but that more needs to be done before that becomes a reality.
Direct flights between the two countries were cut after the 1979 revolution.


ICC prosecutor issues warning on Bedouin village demolition

Updated 38 min 9 sec ago
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ICC prosecutor issues warning on Bedouin village demolition

  • Palestinians and other critics say the demolition aims to displace Palestinians in favor of Israeli settlement expansion

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor has issued a warning that if Israel goes ahead and destroys a Palestinian Bedouin village on the West Bank that could constitute a war crime.
Israel’s Supreme Court recently rejected a final appeal against plans to demolish the village, Khan Al-Ahmar.
In a statement Wednesday, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says “evacuation by force now appears imminent.”
Bensouda adds that the “extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes” under the Rome Statute treaty that established the ICC.
Israel says Khan Al-Ahmar was built illegally and has offered to resettle its residents a few miles (kilometers) away. Palestinians and other critics say the demolition aims to displace Palestinians in favor of Israeli settlement expansion.