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US announces readiness to repair Iranian Airbus planes

New York, Oct 5, IRNA-US Foreign Ministry issued a communique on Tuesday night, US eastern time, that the United States has agreed to provide spare parts and maintenance services for Iranian Airbus passenger planes.

The announcement was made following a proposal put forth by the US Federal Aviation Organization earlier in September.

The US Foreign Ministry had before declaring the decision informed the Congress of the decision and asked the US Department of the Treasury to issue the required licenses for the purpose.

The US State Department communique on the issue reiterated that Washington is ignoring its sanctions against Iran in this respect due to humane concerns despite Iran's refraining from heeding its commitments towards the international community.

According to US media, the Airbus spare parts would be shipped in limited quantities to a third country, and the repairs and maintenance services, too, would take place there.

The United States has been sending mixed signals on Iran during the course of the past couple of days.

On the one hand Washington has imposed unprecedented pressure against its traditional allies for backing up international sanctions against Iran, and on the other hand it is after some three decades of severe aviation sanctions suddenly announcing readiness to ship original US-made Airbus spare parts for the Iranian air fleet.

Some political analysts interpret the recent move as steps aimed at strengthening the Republicans stand in upcoming Congress elections, and some other interpret it as a move in line with the incentives of the West to encourage Iran to halt its uranium enrichment plan.

U.S. consents to overhauling Iranian airliners

TEHRAN, Oct. 4 (Mehr News Agency) - The United States consent to overhauling Iranian airliners is the result of the measures taken by Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) session recently held in Montreal, noted here on Wednesday Nurollah Rezaii Niaraki, chief executive officer of Iran's CAO.

During the session of the ICAO assembly recently held in Montreal, Iranian officials complained to the international body about Washington's sanctions on Iran, in particular Iran's air transportation, Rezaii Niaraki said adding that the chairman of the international organization agreed to discuss the problems with the related U.S. officials. "The ICAO authorities promised to solve the case," Niaraki told the Persian service of Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.

Air accidents are frequent in Iran, where most passenger planes are 16 years old, on average. The country's 13 carriers have tried to upgrade their fleets with European aircraft, but the U.S. has pressured Europe not to sell. Nearly 30 people died in September when a Russian-made Tupolev-154 caught fire on landing in northeastern Iran.

Western nations have offered to sell Iran new planes and spare parts as part of an incentive package aimed at getting Tehran to roll back its nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear activities are to generate fuel, not weapons, and it refuses to give up the program.

Iranian state-run radio said Wednesday that the United States had agreed to allow Iranian Airbus models to be repaired in a third country, but it did not specify where, Associated Press quoted Iranian radio on Wednesday.

The country's main carrier, Iran Air, has seven Tupolevs in its 43-plane fleet. It also has seven Boeings bought before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and 28 European Airbus and Fokker aircraft.

... Payvand News - 10/5/06 ... --

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