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Iran, Russia eyeing Sukhoi Superjet deal

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran says it is negotiating with Russia over the joint production of Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ 100) airplanes.

Iran says it is looking into a plan to jointly produce Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ 100) airplanes with Russia – what could take the Islamic Republic to the club of global plane makers if materialized.       

Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade Mohammad-Reza Ne’matzadeh told reporters in Moscow that Iran has already started talks with Russian over the plan.     

"Now the talks regarding a joint manufacture of this airplane are underway, but there are no results yet," Ne’matzadeh told reporters on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was the first to break the news over a possible Iran-Russia cooperation over the production of SSJ 100.   

Rogozin had told the media in Moscow last November that the two countries are negotiating over the production of the planes in the Islamic Republic, stressing that Russia may deliver a large batch of SSJ 100 planes – described as the country’s most modern commercial jets – to Iran before 2020.

Rogozin had emphasized that the batch could comprise about 100 planes.

The planes can be in part be localized by Iranian producers if Tehran makes the political decision to purchase ready-made aircraft, he had told the media during a two-day trip to Iran.

"If Tehran agrees to purchase the Superjet, we will discuss partial localization of production in Iran," the Russian official had emphasized.

Sukhoi Superjet 100 is Russia’s newest twin-engine regional passenger aircraft which began operating commercially in 2011. More than 60 aircraft are in service with airlines in Laos, Mexico, and Russia.

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