A plan for Iranian airlines to buy Russian-built passenger jets appears to have collapsed as a result of U.S. sanctions, marking a further set-back for the country's beleaguered aviation sector.
Iranian airlines have been struggling to find ways to replace their ageing fleets ever since President Donald Trump announced in May 2018 that he was going to pull the U.S. out of the Iranian nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions.
Prior to that, in the brief period when most international sanctions on Iran were lifted, the country's airlines had ordered hundreds of new planes worth tens of billions of dollars from Boeing and Airbus.
However, since U.S. sanctions were reimposed both Boeing and Airbus have had to halt deliveries – during the brief respite from sanctions only three Airbus planes were handed over and none from Boeing. The U.S. trade restrictions affect both aircraft built in the U.S. and those from anywhere else which have a significant proportion of U.S. parts in them.