Iran says it has started a new round of talks with the European planemaker Airbus over the purchase of dozens of helicopters.
Iran’s media quoted Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan, a deputy minister of roads and urban development, as saying that the order comprised 48 helicopters.
“The Health Ministry is planning to order 45 HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) helicopters and the purchase is being negotiated by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development,” Iran’s Financial Tribune daily quoted Fakhrieh-Kashan as saying.
“Ports and Maritime Organization is also planning to hold a tender to purchase three search-and-rescue helicopters,” he was quoted as saying in a report that was also carried by Reuters.
Iran has signed deals to purchase above 200 planes since international sanctions against the country were lifted last year.
Flag-carrier Iran Air has ordered 100 planes from Airbus, 80 from US rival Boeing and 20 ATR turboprops.
In June, Airbus said two other Iranian airlines had committed to buying 73 planes in a last-minute flurry of deals for the aircraft manufacturer at the Paris Airshow, Reuters added.
Fakhrieh-Kashan further emphasized that Iran was holding negotiations to merge the helicopter order into the Iran Air-Airbus contract signed in December.
In February 2016, Iran’s media quoted the head of the country’s top medical emergency service as saying that the Islamic Republic was interested in purchasing helicopters from Airbus.
Amir-Hossein Ziayi, the head of the Red Crescent – the country’s equivalent to the Red Cross – said the Health Ministry was planning to purchase as much as 50 copters from the European planemaker.