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.


Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s policies discriminating against Palestinians

Updated 59 min 48 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s policies discriminating against Palestinians

Saudi Arabia rejected all Israeli policies, practices and plans that attempt to perpetuate racial discrimination against the Palestinian people and obliterate their national identity and to undermine their legitimate rights, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Addressing the UN Security Council, the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Maalami called on the international community to intervene and stop settlement projects by Israel.

“The Palestinian people continue to witness further tragedies,” he said.

 “70 years ago, Palestinians suffered the greatest human tragedy the world has ever seen. The tragedy of the displacement of the landowners, the tragedy of giving the right to those who do not have the right, and the denial of the right of its owners,” he continued.

The Israeli occupation must be committed to implement international resolutions, lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and open the crossings immediately and permanently, he said. The humanitarian and economic crisis affecting the Palestinian people.

“My country stresses the importance of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East as a strategic option to end the Arab-Israeli conflict,” he said.