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France's ATR delivers first planes to Iran as trade grows

Posted May 16

— European plane maker ATR is delivering small passenger jets to Iran, the latest big-budget deal to emerge in the wake of Iran's 2015 nuclear accord with world powers that ended years of sanctions.

The first four ATR 72-600s were handed over to Iran Air in a ceremony Tuesday in Toulouse in southern France, where ATR is based.

Iran Air finalized a deal last month with ATR for 20 twin-propeller aircraft, with an option to buy 20 more. The planes are worth $536 million at list prices though customers usually negotiate discounts.

Iran has struck several large jet deals since last year, including with Boeing Co. and Airbus, though analysts have questioned whether there is demand for so many planes.

Iran's population of 80 million people represents a large potential market.

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