Iran's dealmaking with Europe: the seven biggest contracts
Aimed at renovating its ageing air fleet struck by years of sanctions, Iran Air has ordered 118 commercial passenger planes including 12 Airbus A380s, the world's largest jet airliner. Other models on the list include 21 A320ceo, 24 A320neo and 27 A330ceo jets.
In total, there are 73 wide-body and 45 single-aisle aircrafts. Iran has signalled it needs as many as 500 new planes as other companies such as Boeing also consider whether to do business with post- sanctions Iran.
"The deal with Airbus is one of the largest foreign contracts ever signed in the history of the Islamic Republic," Iran's minister for roads and urban development, Abbas Akhondi, told the Guardian in an interview in Paris after the deal was announced: "We'd like to restructure Iran Air and bring it back to the market which can compete with other airlines in the region, certainly we can do this within five to seven years."
Airbus's chief executive, Fabrice Brégier, said the skies had "cleared for Iran's flying public and Airbus is proud to welcome Iran's commercial aviation back into the international civil aviation community".
The Italian metal industry firm this week signed a contract to supply heavy machinery and equipment to Iran.
The Italian oil and gas contractor has agreed a deal to revamp and upgrade the Pars Shiraz and Tabriz oil refineries.
The French carmaker made a deal for a joint venture with the Iranian vehicle manufacturer Khodro to modernise a car factory near Tehran, where three new Peugeot models will be manufactured. The two companies worked together before sanctions and the project will produce 100,000 vehicles a year starting in late 2017.
The oil giant signed a contract with the national Iranian oil company to buy as many as 150,000-200,000 barrels of crude oil per day (€6.6m at current prices), according to the French firm's chief executive, Patrick Pouyanné.
The French company will assist in the construction of a second terminal at Tehran's Imam Khomeini international airport. Akhondi said: "Imam Khomeini airport is located in the best place in the region and with contracts that we have signed with Aéroports de Paris, we are building a city airport to make it a regional hub and to establish Tehran [as an] international financial centre."
The Italian construction firm will develop a new terminal at Shahid Hashemi Nejad airport in Mashhad, northeast Iran.
Despite the deals and the desire of European governments to begin trading with Iran, financing remains a big issue as major European banks remain reluctant to handle Iranian payments, deterred by previous huge fines from the US treasury. Nuclear-related sanctions have been lifted but other US measures relating to terrorism and human rights are still in place.
Andreas Schweitzer, the senior managing director at investment firm Arjan Capital, which is active in Iran, said banks, especially those with a big US presence, are unlikely to support large transactions "because there is too much US uncertainty about secondary sanctions".